A federal judge on Wednesday revoked Michael Avenatti's bail after he was accused of fraudulently hiding US$1-million from creditors, threatening a separate trial of the celebrity lawyer and critic of U.S. President Donald Trump on charges he tried to extort Nike Inc.
A Justice Department official reported that Avenatti was arrested during his appearance before the State Bar Court in Los Angeles, where he was present for a disciplinary hearing over allegations he stole about $840,000 from a former client.
"We understand in substance that the allegations have to do with fraud, money structuring, money laundering, and other crimes by [Avenatti] while he's been on pre-trial release", he said during an emergency conference following Avenatti's Tuesday arrest.More news: An 'unprecedented' 31 million people downloaded the Disney+ app in Q4 2019
The arrest threatens to disrupt Avenatti's trial scheduled next week in Manhattan on charges he tried to extort $25 million from Nike, a NY federal judge said during a hearing Wednesday.
This May 2019, California lawyer Michael Avenatti is leaving a NY courthouse after a hearing.
During Avenatti's heated testimony prior to his arrest, he looked distraught and occasionally raised his voice, calling the hearing "nonsense", claiming that his former customer Barela "said a lot of things that were wrong". U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe told Avenatti's attorneys during a conference call on Wednesday that he wanted the trial to begin by at least January 27.
Michael Avenatti arrives at a courthouse in NY, on October 8, 2019.More news: Jeffrey Epstein accused of trafficking girls as young as 11 in suit
Avenatti is facing federal charges on both coasts in connection with myriad fraud allegations, though he had been allowed to remain free on bond. "So there are certainly questions in my mind about why it was necessary to raise allegations about bail violations so close to the trial and it certainly has put defense counsel in a very hard position".
Meanwhile, a federal judge in NY delayed Avenatti's criminal trial on charges that he attempted to extort as much as $25 million from Nike to stop him from exposing alleged misdeeds in the apparel company's grassroots basketball division.
The trial related to the Nike charges was scheduled to begin Tuesday.More news: MS Dhoni's India career in doubt after losing central contract