Feds Indict Trump Critic Avenatti With 36 Counts of Fraud

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Federal prosecutors in California announced on Thursday three dozen charges against Michael Avenatti, the prominent attorney best known for his criticisms of President Trump, accusing the lawyer of stealing millions of dollars from his clients and funneling their money into his own interests, including co-ownership of a $5 million private jet, The Washington Post reports.

The indictment was sweeping in its scope, accusing Avenatti of defrauding clients over a period spanning more than four years. The charges included bleak details, such as claims that Avenatti’s alleged actions caused a paraplegic client to lose his Supplemental Security Income benefits, which are paid to adults and children with disabilities, and prevented the same client from using settlement money to buy a home. Avenatti denied wrongdoing and wrote on Twitter that he will “fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY.” The California case against him is separate from the federal case in New York accusing Avenatti of trying to extort Nike, the sports apparel behemoth.

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