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Authorities move L.A. attorney Michael Avenatti to New York ahead of trial

Michael Avenatti talks to the media after a federal court hearing in New York on May 30, 2018.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Federal authorities moved Los Angeles attorney Michael Avenatti to New York on Friday ahead of a trial later this month on charges that he tried to extort more than $20 million from sports giant Nike, his attorney said.

U.S. marshals transported Avenatti by private jet, and he’s at Metropolitan Correction Center awaiting classification, attorney H. Dean Steward said Saturday.

The move came two days after a federal judge revoked Avenatti’s bail and ordered him jailed while awaiting trial on three indictments, saying new allegations of fraud and money laundering show he poses a danger to the public.

Avenatti was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at a California State Bar Court hearing. The state bar is seeking to block him from practicing law while he faces bank fraud, tax evasion and other charges in the three federal indictments. Prosecutors have accused him of stealing millions from his own clients.

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Avenatti, who gained fame as the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had a one-night stand with Donald Trump in 2006, has denied wrongdoing.

After the Nike case concludes, he will face a second federal trial in New York on charges that he stole from Daniels by skimming money from her deal to write a memoir detailing her alleged affair with President Trump.

After that, Avenatti is to be tried in Santa Ana federal court on the most sweeping of the three cases. He is accused of fraud, perjury, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement and other financial crimes. Prosecutors allege he stole millions of dollars from five clients and used a tangle of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft.

Times staff writer Michael Finnegan contributed to this report.


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