connectVideoLawyer Michael Avenatti faces up to 100 years in prison for extortion, wire fraud
Controversial lawyer Michael Avenatti evaded paying taxes for more than a decade, while at the same time living the high life and splash money on expensive cars, jewelry, and luxury apartments, IRS records reveal.
Avenatti, who was not even represented adult-film star Stormy Daniels before they left him, is currently nearly 100 years in prison stemming from charges in two separate cases.
Federal prosecutors in New York accused the hotshot lawyer on Monday of operating “an old-fashioned shakedown” after trying to extort about $25 million of sportswear giant Nike “by threatening to his ability to garner publicity to bring significant financial and reputation damage on the company if its demands were not met.”
In California, He was also charged with wire fraud and fraud, following an extensive investigation by the authorities.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, THE LATEST ALLEGATIONS OF EXTORTING NIKE MARK THE END OF HIS SHOT AT REDEMPTION AFTER THE SPECTACULAR FALL FROM GRACE
But the legal problems for Avenatti here, not that he’s been accused by the irs, not to pay millions of dollars in income tax and by the company. The authorities started pursuing the lawyer almost a decade ago.
According to IRS documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Avenatti earned $1.9 million in personal income in 2009, yet not pay the $570,000 he owed taxes. In 2010, he earned $1.2 million, but again, do not pay the alleged $282,000 bill to the IRS.
Federal prosecutors now claim that since 2010, Avenatti has not yet filed personal income tax even though $18 million came in his bank account.
Avenatti personal bank accounts are not the only place authorities are looking for. The lawyer of the company Avenatti & Associates, which reportedly included $38 million in deposits, has also not submitted declarations.
But while he allegedly is the avoidance of paying taxes, Avenatti used his business to pay for personal expenses, including $176,500 Exclusive Resorts, an elite private vacation club, according to the Times.
MICHAEL AVENATTI ‘NERVOUS’ ‘SCARED’ ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF PRISON TIME, LABELS NIKE EXTORTION ALLEGATIONS ‘ABSURD’
The TAX office notes that Avenatti also spent $217,000 at department store Neiman Marcus, almost 120,000 dollars at a watch store, $277,236 and $39,762 on Porsche and Ferrari dealers, respectively.
He splashed $100,000-a-month rent on a luxury waterfront house in Newport Beach in California, while also paying $123,825 in rent from his apartment in a luxury high-rise in Century City.
“During this fiscal year, Avenatti generate substantial revenues, and lived lavishly,” an IRS investigator, Remoun Karlous, wrote in documents reviewed by the newspaper.
“During this fiscal year, Avenatti generate substantial revenues, and lived lavishly.”
— IRS-researcher Remoun Karlous
In the midst of the legal problems in California and New York, Avenatti said earlier this week that he was “nervous” and “scared” about the potential behind bars.
“No, and a suggestion is absolutely absurd,” he told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan, when asked if he tried to extort money from the sport company.
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“Nike knew from the first moment I had contact with Nike, that I was to insist that the truth about what Nike had done to be passed on to the federal prosecutors and investigators,” he said on the network.
“The truth is, for years, Nike and their leaders are funneling the payments to amateur players, high school students and their caregivers and family members in an attempt to get them to go to colleges that were Nike colleges, and eventually, hopefully, to the NBA so they can sign a shoe deal with Nike.”
Avenatti was released on a $300,000 bond Monday after his arrest in New York. He is set to appear in court in April.