Disgraced anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti has finally come clean and admitted to multiple charges of fraud.
Avenatti is pleading guilty to the little-known case in California that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.
51-year-old Avenatti is already serving five years in prison for two other cases.
He was convicted of fraud and identity theft for stealing $300,000 from his former client Stormy Daniels.
He was also convicted of trying to extort $25 million from Nike Inc.
But in the California case, he just took a guilty plea on multiple charges of stealing his client’s money.
He now faces more than 300 years in prison after admitting to the 36 criminal charges in the California case, according to Reuters.
The charges include stealing millions of dollars from clients, lying to the Internal Revenue Service and a bankruptcy court, and defrauding a bank.
Just a reminder that CNN and MSNBC made Michael Avenatti a Hero of the Resistance in 2018, with CNN featuring him 122 times and MSNBC 108. And yes, they discussed Avenatti’s presidential prospects–even as he was defrauding his clients. From @newsbusters https://t.co/anec9a0OoJ
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 13, 2022
Avenatti has been trying to make a deal before he loses in court but prosecutors aren’t biting which means he is going to spend a considerable amount of time locked up.
“Defendant has been unable to reach a plea agreement with the government,” Avenatti’s attorneys wrote.
“Mr. Avenatti wishes to plea in order to be accountable; accept responsibility; Avoid his former clients being further burdened; Save the court and the government significant resources; And save his family from further embarrassment,” the court filing said.
JUST IN: Avenatti to plead guilty to stealing millions in California case https://t.co/R59GcMQDVX pic.twitter.com/FZAj5FylMU
— The Hill (@thehill) June 13, 2022
In 2019, Avenatti was indicted on multiple charges of defrauding his clients. According to the indictment, beginning in 2015, Avenatti executed a scheme to defraud five clients, one of whom was a paraplegic from whom Avenatti allegedly withheld a settlement payment of $4 million.
After Avenatti negotiated settlements for the clients that required payment to go to them, he would lie to the clients about the terms of the settlements, instead depositing the funds into attorney trust accounts he controlled, the indictment says.
He would then embezzle and misappropriate those funds, according to the indictment, and to prevent discovery of his scheme, he would tell clients the settlement proceeds hadn’t yet been paid, among other tactics.
Avenatti is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for the Daniels’ theft and for attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike by threatening to go public with negative information unless he was paid.