Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer accused of extorting Nike for up to $25 million, was arrested Tuesday while appearing before the State Bar Court in Los Angeles, CA. A Los Angeles judged ruled Wednesday that he will remain in jail after prosecutors alleged he continued to commit financial crimes while out on bail.
In court filings, made public Wednesday, prosecutors alleged that Avenatti had “brazenly attempted” to hide his money and defraud people and entities to whom he was millions of dollars in debt — including a former law partner he owed $5 million, a former client he owed $2.2 million and an ex-wife he owed $2.5 million in spousal and child support.
“The fact that the defendant continued to engage in criminal conduct after he had been indicted in this case and while on bond, demonstrates that the defendant remains a substantial economic danger to the community,” prosecutors wrote.
Avenatti is facing federal charges on both coasts on a number of fraud charges. Prospective jurors, in the first of his scheduled trials involving the Nike allegations, were scheduled to appear in federal court in New York next week to begin the process of seeing who would serve on the case, but after two phone conferences on Wednesday, Judge Paul G. Gardephe temporarily postponed the trial and asserted that Avenatti’s arrest “has essentially thrown the trial into chaos.”