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Michael Avenatti charged in 36-count federal indictment

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Michael Avenati indicted on 36 counts A federal grand jury has indicted attorney Michael Avenatti on 36 counts of fraud, perjury, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement and other financial crimes, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

The indictment said Avenatti stole millions of dollars from five clients through a group of shell companies and bank accounts to make it more difficult to track.

A hearing was set for 9 a.m. PDT Thursday, when federal prosecutors will release more information in the case.

The victims in the case include a mentally ill paraplegic who won a $4 million settlement against Los Angeles County. Avenatti is accused of having the money wired to him and hiding it from the victim for years. The charges say he used a similar method to steal $2.75 million from another client.

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