Avenatti Stole Client Funds To Buy Jet, Pay Bills, Jury Told

Law360, Santa Ana, Calif. (July 21, 2021, 9:58 PM EDT) -- Michael Avenatti violated his clients' trust — and broke federal law — when he stole millions from their settlements to buy a private jet, get his law firm out of bankruptcy and pay his personal bills, federal prosecutors told a California jury Wednesday during opening statements in his embezzlement trial.

Following a week of jury selection in the bifurcated trial, federal prosecutors opened their case against Avenatti, saying he stole settlement checks from four clients — Geoffrey Johnson, Alexis Gardner, Gregory Barela and Michelle Phan — to use for his own personal and business expenses, while telling his clients the money...

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