Michael Avenatti indicted on 36 counts, including embezzling millions from a paraplegic

The man who once said of Donald Trump, "You are an habitual liar and complete narcissist who also is a disgrace as a president and an embarrassment to our nation" has been indicted on 36 counts of tax fraud, wire fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and several other very bad things.

Michael Avenatti, lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, is accused of bilking clients out of millions of dollars in settlement money, using it to buy expensive merchandise.

NBCNews:

Avenatti, 48, faces charges of wire fraud, failure to collect and withhold payroll taxes, attempting to obstruct the IRS, failing to file tax returns, aggravated identity fraud, bank fraud and false testimony under oath during bankruptcy.

The lawyer was arrested March 25 on some of the counts, but the 61-page indictment filed by a federal grand jury late Wednesday "significantly broadens the scope of the case," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

The criminal charges in the indictment "are all linked to one another because money generated from one set of crimes appears in other sets — typically in the form of payments to lull victims and to prevent Mr. Avenatti's financial house of cards from collapsing," said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna.

That "financial house of cards" was partially built by embezzling millions of dollars from a paraplegic client.

The charge involving the paraplegic man says Avenatti drained a $4 million settlement paid out to the client by Los Angeles County, using "portions of the settlement to finance his coffee business or pay personal expenses," the U.S. attorney's office statement said.

"Avenatti concealed the receipt of the settlement from Client 1 and instead gave him periodic "advances" of no more than $1,900 and paid the rent for his assisted living facility," the statement said.

Avenatti lied by telling that client as he was trying to buy a house that his settlement money was not available, causing him to fail to meet escrow, according to the indictment.  Avenatti is also accused of failing to fulfill a promise to respond to that client's Social Security Administration inquiry, leading to a loss of benefits.

Josh Robbins, the attorney representing that alleged victim, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, said in a statement that Johnson is the "victim of an appalling fraud."

"Mr. Avenatti stole millions of dollars that were meant to compensate Mr. Johnson for a devastating injury, spent it on his own lavish lifestyle, then lied about it to Mr. Johnson for years to cover his tracks," Robbins said.  "His actions have left Mr. Johnson destitute."

Avenatti also allegedly embezzled millions of dollars from four other clients, using the money to fund the purchase of a jet, his coffee business, "his auto racing enterprise" and his own legal and personal expenses.

To think some Democrats actually thought Avenatti would make a good president is beyond belief.  Here's what he said at a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa while he was still considered a viable candidate:

I know some of you may disagree with me.  The answer to Donald Trump, you may say, is to do just the opposite of Donald Trump.  Being noble, being kind, being classy.  And I am all for each of those things, but tonight, with our country under an unprecedented assault by a con man who fights only for himself and degrades the vulnerable and the powerless and regular hardworking people day in and day out, I believe that we must honestly ask ourselves ... [in the Democratic] party whether those we fight for can afford our gentleness.

After reading of this guy's crimes, don't you feel as if you have to take a shower to remove the stench of his dripping hypocrisy?

The man who once said of Donald Trump, "You are an habitual liar and complete narcissist who also is a disgrace as a president and an embarrassment to our nation" has been indicted on 36 counts of tax fraud, wire fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and several other very bad things.

Michael Avenatti, lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, is accused of bilking clients out of millions of dollars in settlement money, using it to buy expensive merchandise.

NBCNews:

Avenatti, 48, faces charges of wire fraud, failure to collect and withhold payroll taxes, attempting to obstruct the IRS, failing to file tax returns, aggravated identity fraud, bank fraud and false testimony under oath during bankruptcy.

The lawyer was arrested March 25 on some of the counts, but the 61-page indictment filed by a federal grand jury late Wednesday "significantly broadens the scope of the case," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

The criminal charges in the indictment "are all linked to one another because money generated from one set of crimes appears in other sets — typically in the form of payments to lull victims and to prevent Mr. Avenatti's financial house of cards from collapsing," said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna.

That "financial house of cards" was partially built by embezzling millions of dollars from a paraplegic client.

The charge involving the paraplegic man says Avenatti drained a $4 million settlement paid out to the client by Los Angeles County, using "portions of the settlement to finance his coffee business or pay personal expenses," the U.S. attorney's office statement said.

"Avenatti concealed the receipt of the settlement from Client 1 and instead gave him periodic "advances" of no more than $1,900 and paid the rent for his assisted living facility," the statement said.

Avenatti lied by telling that client as he was trying to buy a house that his settlement money was not available, causing him to fail to meet escrow, according to the indictment.  Avenatti is also accused of failing to fulfill a promise to respond to that client's Social Security Administration inquiry, leading to a loss of benefits.

Josh Robbins, the attorney representing that alleged victim, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, said in a statement that Johnson is the "victim of an appalling fraud."

"Mr. Avenatti stole millions of dollars that were meant to compensate Mr. Johnson for a devastating injury, spent it on his own lavish lifestyle, then lied about it to Mr. Johnson for years to cover his tracks," Robbins said.  "His actions have left Mr. Johnson destitute."

Avenatti also allegedly embezzled millions of dollars from four other clients, using the money to fund the purchase of a jet, his coffee business, "his auto racing enterprise" and his own legal and personal expenses.

To think some Democrats actually thought Avenatti would make a good president is beyond belief.  Here's what he said at a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa while he was still considered a viable candidate:

I know some of you may disagree with me.  The answer to Donald Trump, you may say, is to do just the opposite of Donald Trump.  Being noble, being kind, being classy.  And I am all for each of those things, but tonight, with our country under an unprecedented assault by a con man who fights only for himself and degrades the vulnerable and the powerless and regular hardworking people day in and day out, I believe that we must honestly ask ourselves ... [in the Democratic] party whether those we fight for can afford our gentleness.

After reading of this guy's crimes, don't you feel as if you have to take a shower to remove the stench of his dripping hypocrisy?