Michael Avenatti pleads guilty to wire fraud, tax fraud

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Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti plead guilty to a litany of fraud charges on Thursday in a Santa Ana, California federal courtroom after bilking millions from his clients.

According to the CBS News, Avenatti plead guilty to four counts of wire fraud and a single count of tax fraud, and admitted to misappropriating funds from clients totaling around $10 million.

Between January of 2015 and March 2019, prosecutors alleged that Avenatti defrauded at least five clients of around $10 million in settlement funds, with the money being used to help with bankruptcy and debt problems, as well as some spending for himself.

Avenatti also admitted that he blocked “IRS efforts to collect unpaid payroll taxes of an estimated $5 million and include payroll taxes that had been withheld from employee paychecks of a Tully’s Coffee operated by an Avenatti-owned company,” according to CBS News.

Avenatti made an open plea in the case, meaning no agreement was made with the prosecution regarding sentencing before he admitted his guilt.

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