Michael Avenatti Arrested by Federal Agents in California
'Creepy Porn Lawyer' taken by IRS agents during CA Bar Association court hearing
Lawyer Michael Avenatti has been arrested by federal agents outside a courthouse in California, according to reports.
Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney Avenatti, aka the "Creepy Porn Lawyer," was taken into custody by agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Tuesday evening.
The arrest was made in Los Angeles during a break in a disciplinary hearing for a separate case over allegations that Avenatti scammed a client out of $840,000.
Avenatti was arrested around 6 p.m. outside the State Bar Court, where proceedings have been initiated against him by the State Bar of California.
“I can confirm that he was arrested by federal agents," Avenatti's lawyer Dean Steward said.
"I anticipate a bail hearing at 2 p.m. tomorrow in Magistrate's Court in Santa Ana."
"I haven't seen the details of the warrant, but should have it later this evening," Steward added.
Avenatti did not return to the court when the hearing resumed.
His attorneys called for a sidebar with the judge and said he would not be able to return due to circumstances related to a criminal matter in Orange County.
Just moments ago ex-Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti was taken out of the California State Bar Court in LA the custody of federal agents. pic.twitter.com/cU8sM4DUw1— Jason McGahan (@JasonMcGahan) January 15, 2020
The former lawyer for Stormy Daniels is accused of fraud, cheating on his taxes and lying to investigators.
Federal prosecutors allege that he embezzled funds from clients.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, told Fox News that Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of violating his pre-trial release.
"I do expect him to appear in federal court in Santa Ana tomorrow," he said, adding that documents related to the arrest were under seal.
Tuesday's hearing centered on allegations that Avenatti misappropriated $840,000 in settlement money owed to Gregory Barela, his former client.
Barela made continued inquiries about the funds to Avenatti, and the attorney allegedly kept the cash for himself.
He still owes Barela $710,000 but denies any wrongdoing.
Avenatti was supposed to travel to New York on Tuesday night for his criminal trial over his alleged plot to extort $25 million from sports apparel giant Nike.