Disgraced television lawyer Michael Avenatti was charged Wednesday for defrauding his former client, pornographic actress Stormy Daniels.
Federal prosecutors in New York City said Avenatti used a doctored document to divert about $300,000 that Daniels was supposed to get from a book deal, then used the money for personal and business expenses. Only half of that money was paid back, according to prosecutors. While Daniels isn’t named in the court filing, the details of the case make it clear that she is the client involved in the case.
Shortly after the charges were announced, Avenatti took to social media to deny any wrongdoing.
“No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled. She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence,” he tweeted. He has since locked his Twitter account.
Avenatti was previously charged in New York and Los Angeles with trying to extort money from Nike and stealing millions of dollars from clients. He has denied all the allegations.
The befallen lawyer rocketed to fame representing Daniels when she sued to be released from a non-disclosure agreement involving an alleged tryst with President Donald Trump before he entered politics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.