The outspoken and controversial attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested by IRS federal agents while he was on break at a disciplinary hearing in LA. The case was about allegations that Avenatti scammed one of his clients out of almost $1,000,000. Precisely, the amount of $840,000.
Avenatti was arrested just outside of the State Bar Court in California. Quite the amount to be ripped off, allegedly.
His own lawyer provided a confirmation that the arrest went through, as reported by Fox News.
“I can confirm that he was arrested by federal agents," Avenatti's lawyer Dean Steward said. "I anticipate a bail hearing at 2 p.m. tomorrow in Magistrate's Court in Santa Ana. I haven't seen the details of the warrant, but should have it later this evening.“
The situation gets interesting when Avenatti was arrested because he wasn't able to return to his court case at the time.
His attorneys called for a sidebar with the judge and said he would not be able to return due to circumstances related to a criminal matter in Orange County.
So what's going on now? Well, Avenatti is being accused of numerous charges. For one, he was accused of fraud. Another suggests he was cheating on taxes and telling lies to investigators. He's also accused of embezzling funds from his clients. Of all the charges, he's pleaded not guilty.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, told Fox News that Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of violating his pre-trial release.
"I do expect him to appear in federal court in Santa Ana tomorrow," he said, adding that documents related to the arrest were under seal.
Who is the former client claiming that Avenatti ripped him off by $840,000?
His name is Gregory Barela. He claims he continued to contact Avenatti about the money, but Avenatti is accused of keeping the money all to himself and owes $710,000 to Barela.
Avenatti was supposed to travel to New York on Tuesday night for his criminal trial over his alleged plot to extort $25 million from sports apparel giant Nike.
Looks like Avenatti has a lot of lawyering up to do!