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Celebrity Attorney Michael Avenatti Charged With Fraud

Okabe & Haushalter May 4, 2019 White Collar Crimes

If you have tuned into the news over the last few years, you have likely heard the name Michael Avenatti pop up every not and again. He is a celebrity attorney who has a long history representing big-name clients in high profile cases. Last month, we learned that he is facing charges of his own.

Today, we want to discuss his case as well as other white collar crimes. If you or a loved one are in trouble and need a white collar crimes defense attorney in Los Angeles, please seek legal assistance now. At Okabe & Haushalter, you can count on an experienced team is by your side.

What Happened In This Case?

We learned on April 11 that Avenatti was charged by federal prosecutors in California. They released a 36-count indictment accusing him of tax crimes, perjury, and wire fraud. The IRS says that Avenatti has stolen money, that he hid and spent a $4 million legal settlement obtained for a client, and hid another $2.5 million settlement and used it to pay for a private jet.

Michael Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

These charges come on the heels of Avenatti being charged in New York in a separate case after federal prosecutors say he attempted to extort millions of dollars from Nike by threatening to expose supposed illegal activities they were involved in.

What Are White Collar Crimes?

One of the best-known white collar crimes is embezzlement, which is a type of financial theft. This arises when an employee of a company or organization takes money from them and uses it for personal expenses. In California, embezzlement charges will show up at:

  • Grand theft – if property stolen is over $950, an automobile, or a firearm.
    • Up to 1 year (misdemeanor) to 3 years (felony) in jail.
  • Petty theft – if the property was stolen is less than $950.
    • A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.

There are other types of white collar crimes you may hear about. They can include:

  • Credit card fraud
  • Access fraud
  • Real estate fraud
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Insurance fraud
  • Tax fraud and tax evasion
  • Computer crimes
  • Bank fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Forgery
  • Identity theft
  • RICO and racketeering charges

Many of these charges can be filed at the state or federal level. In many cases, a defendant faces BOTH state and federal charges at the same time.

What Happens Now?

White collar crimes are serious and they need to be dealt with immediately and with the help of a skilled attorney. Any of the crimes we mentioned above can carry heavy penalties if a person is found guilty. At Okabe & Haushalter, we have the experience you need by your side to build a defense that will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Please do not let your fate lie in the hands of an overworked public defender. When you need a Los Angeles white collar crimes defense attorney, you can contact us today by calling at 310-430-7799 for a free consultation.