After leaving the Federal Court House in Manhattan, Attorney Michael Avenatti spoke to the media. This was March 25, 2019, in New York City.
Federal prosecutors made a procedural error Tuesday that resulted in a mistrial in the wire fraud case against former victims.Donald Trump Foe and former Stormy Daniels lawyerMichael Avenatti. Avenatti was accused of embezzling settlement funds totalling almost $10 million from several clients.
Avenatti has been through a lot of legal problems and was sentenced to two-and-a half years in prison for his attempt to extort Nike.
Six weeks after the start of the trial, Avenatti was his own lead counsel. The mistrial in the embezzlement case was granted because the prosecution failed to turn over certain financial documents.
Avenatti’s paralegal stated that she used Quickbooks (two accounting programs) during trial to track the expenses. Avenatti sought detailed financial information from the prosecutors for both programs for over a year. However, she did not receive all of the requested documents.
Avenatti argued in his motion for mistrial that the government’s failure to comply with these discovery demands constituted extreme prejudice:
As you can see, defendant demanded repeatedly that the government produce financial records for all clients named in the indictment beginning in 2019. This includes all information related to the calculation and payment of fees and expenses. This has included multiple motions to the Court. The government repeatedly stated to the Court and defense that all financial information, including all bank statements, had been provided.BradyInformation. It has been proven that this is false. The government finally admitted Thursday, years after it had denied the Tabs data.Prejudice resulting fromThis misconduct cannot be understated.
Avenatti claimed that the financial data was potentially exulpatory “Brady” material. He was therefore deprived of the opportunity to build a case theory and was unable cross-examine the prosecution financial expert.
U.S. District Judge – UltimatelyJames SelnaAvenatti agreed. Selna noted that although the judge found no evidence of intent misconduct by prosecutors, Avenatti was allowed to contest the amount that they claimed was misappropriated.
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Judge Selna said, reportedly from the bench, “It’s no answer that Mr. Avenatti is not required by the government to prove the exact amount.” He explained that prosecutors had given a number and that he believed the defendant was entitled for a challenge to that number.
Selna did not find any willful misconduct from the U.S. Attorney’s Office but noted that there might have been “some weaknesses” in the process.
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Avenatti thanked his counsel and made a statement after the judge’s decision.Dean StewardAndCourtney Cummings Cefali. “This has been a very difficult journey for my family, my children, my friends, and, lastly, me. Mr. “Steward, Ms. Cummings Cefali, and the entire team for standing beside me and advocating tirelessly for my cause,” Avenatti stated. “Today is a wonderful day for the rule of Law in the United States of America.
The prosecution’s “taint group” is now the focus of all eyes. This is a team of specialized attorneys that reviewed the case material to determine whether it was privileged. This team was responsible for sorting through the documents and turning them over to Avenatti.
Many legal experts, including criminal defense attorneys.Ken White(also known as “Popehat”) Avenatti (also known as Popehat) have been notoriously critical of Avenatti–skewered U.S. Attorney’s Office because he was not charged.