June 28, 2022 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Michael Avenatti Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud and Tax Charges That Allege He Stole Millions of Dollars from Clients

Former Century City resident Michael Avenatti pleaded guilty last week to five felony offenses and admitted that he engaged in a scheme to defraud four of his legal clients.

Avenatti, who has been suspended by the State Bar of California, specifically pleaded guilty June 16 to four counts of wire fraud – each related to one of four matters in which he embezzled money that should have been paid to clients – and one count of endeavoring to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code.

United States District Judge James V. Selna scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 19. As a result of last week’ guilty pleas, Avenatti faces a statutory maximum sentence of 83 years in federal prison.

Avenatti admitted guilt in each of the four legal matters discussed in a federal grand jury indictment that charged him with embezzling money from clients. Avenatti admitted that he engaged in the conduct charged in the four counts of the indictment, which includes receiving money on behalf of clients into client trust accounts, misappropriating the money, and lying to the clients about receiving the money or, in one case, claiming that the money had already been sent to the client.

The charge of endeavoring to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code is one of 19 tax-related offenses in the indictment. In relation to the tax count he pleaded guilty to today, Avenatti admitted that he corruptly obstructed and impeded the IRS’s efforts to collect unpaid payroll taxes, which the government estimates amount to approximately $5 million and include payroll taxes that he been withheld from the paychecks of employees of the Avenatti-owned company that operated Tully’s Coffee.

After pleading guilty last week, Avenatti still faces a total of 31 counts – six wire fraud charges, 18 tax-related charges, two counts of bank fraud related to alleged false statements he made in an attempt to obtain loans from a federally insured financial institution, one count of aggravated identity theft for misusing the name of a tax preparer in relation to the bank fraud scheme, and four counts of bankruptcy fraud related to alleged false statements he made after his law firm was forced into bankruptcy.

The government is reviewing the case to determine how it will move forward after the June 16 guilty pleas. In the event that the government elects to proceed on the remaining counts, Judge Selna will vacate the September 19 sentencing date.

IRS Criminal investigation conducted the investigation into Avenatti. The Office of the United States Trustee provided substantial assistance.

Assistant United States Attorney Brett A. Sagel of the Santa Ana Branch Office and Ranee A. Katzenstein of the Major Frauds Section are prosecuting this case.

Avenatti is currently serving a separate five-year prison sentenced after being convicted in two separate New York trials for attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike and stealing nearly $300,000 from his former client Stormy Daniels.

Related Posts

Banning Construction of New Gas Stations in Los Angeles?

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Motion from LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz calls for banning the building of any new gas pumping facilities By Sam...

Three-Car Sawtelle Crash Sends Six to Hospital

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

79-year-old woman in critical condition following Saturday afternoon crash A three-car crash on Sawtelle Boulevard over the weekend sent six...

Developer Begins Construction on National Boulevard Housing Project

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Six-story development underway near the intersection of National and Canfield By Dolores Quintana Helio has begun construction on a new...

The Los Angeles Real Estate Market May Finally Be Slowing Down

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Real estate sales drop 21 percent in past year By Dolores Quintana The Los Angeles real estate market is showing...

Redevelopment Complete of Former Westside Pavilion Macy’s

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Developer announces complete of West End at Pico and Overland Developer HLW, on behalf of GPI Companies and in partnership...

LA City Council Approves Bicycle ‘Chop Shop’ Ban

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Bonin one of three dissenting votes on law prohibiting individuals from assembling or disassembling bicycles in public.  By Sam Catanzaro...

The LAPD Police Concert Band in Westwood This Weekend

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Sunday, June 26 concert set at Westwood Library By Ashley Sloan Los Angeles Police Department is hosting its third annual...

Column: LA Election Results Remain Tight, Close & Competitive Come the Fall Runoffs!

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Nick Antonicello The results for the June 7th Primary continue to trickle-in with not much change:  In that special...

Unsung Menu Item at Westwood Restaurant Highlighted by New Yorker Magazine

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Essay an ode to ham sandwich at The Apple Pan By Dolores Quintana  An essay in The New Yorker magazine...

The Book Jewel Celebrates Pride Month as a Community

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Westchester bookstore hosting series of events this month The Book Jewel in Westchester is hosting several events this month that...

Outdoor Movies Return to the Skirball

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

“Ratatouille” coming to the big screen July 1 Outdoor movies have returned to the Skirball Cultural Center!  “Enjoy movie magic...

Free Summer Screenings at UCLA

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Public programs run through Sept. 30 at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum Marisa Soto/UCLA Newsroom The UCLA...

Mountain Lion Killed by Vehicle Near the Same Spot Her Mother Was Fatally Struck in 2018

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

P-54 killed on Las Virgenes Road last Friday By Sam Catanzaro Not too far from where her mother was hit...

The ‘Venue’ Development Tops-Out in Palms

June 18, 2022

June 18, 2022

Development sits on the T-shaped property at 3664 – 3688 Overland Avenue and at 3667 – 3673 Keystone Avenue By...

Century City-Westwood Families Earning Upwards of $190,000 Can Qualify for Mortgage Relief

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

State expands California Mortgage Relief Program By Sam Catanzaro Century City-Westwood families earning upwards of $190,000 can qualify for mortgage...