Mon | Jan 20, 2020

Prosecutor: Avenatti arrested on alleged bail violation

Published:Thursday | January 16, 2020 | 12:26 AM

NEW YORK (AP):

Michael Avenatti, the embattled former attorney for the porn actress Stormy Daniels, was arrested Tuesday evening in California for alleged bail violations, according to a court filing by federal prosecutors.

The arrest came as Avenatti was appearing before the State Bar Court in Los Angeles, which is conducting disciplinary proceedings related to multiple criminal cases that have been filed against him in California and New York, the Daily Beast reported.

Avenatti was arrested by IRS agents on allegations of violating the terms of his pretrial release, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the Los Angeles US attorney’s office.

The documents were under seal, so Mrozek could not provide details on the allegations.

Avenatti was expected to appear in federal court in Santa Ana yesterday.

“I understand that Mr Avenatti has been arrested by the federal authorities for violating the terms of his release,” attorney Steven Bledsoe, who represents a client Avenatti is accused of embezzling money from, told the Daily Beast after being present for the arrest.

Avenatti said, “Completely innocent,” as he was being led out of the courthouse, according to the media outlet, which reported that the arrest occurred during a break in testimony.

Shortly after the arrest, federal prosecutors in New York informed a judge there that Avenatti had been accused by prosecutors in California of violating the conditions of his bail.

The court filing did not make it clear what Avenatti allegedly did to violate bail. California court filings on the matter were not available Tuesday evening.

A message seeking comment was left with Avenatti’s attorneys.

Avenatti is scheduled for trial next week in Manhattan federal court on allegations that he extorted Nike for up to $25 million. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.