Avenatti Again Tries To Move Stormy Daniels Swindle Case To LA

LOS ANGELES—Last month, Michael Avenatti — the former lawyer for AVN Hall of Famer Stormy Daniels, who now faces a barrage of legal troubles himself — was released from a federal jail in New York City due to concerns that he could contract a coronavirus infection while behind bars. A judge allowed Avenatti to serve time confined to the home of a friend in southern California. Avenatti now wants his trial on charges that he bilked Daniels out of nearly $300,000 moved to Los Angeles as well. The request, made in a court document filed Friday, marks the second time that Avenatti has asked a federal Southern District of New York Judge to relocate his trial on the charges to the Central District of California. In September of last year, Avenatti asked Judge Deborah Batts to relocate the case, but Batts said she could identify no legal reason to do so. Batts, however, died in February. In a response to Avenatti’s request, Jesse M. Furman — the new judge on the case — said that he would be willing to “revisit” Avenatti’s request, but only if the accused lawyer’s legal team submitted arguments that did not repeat those used in the earlier request to Batts. The decision by Batts is now “the law of the case,” Furman said, stating that he will “not reconsider” any arguments on which the previous judge has already ruled. Avenatti is accused of wrongly diverting a publisher’s advance for Daniels’ 2018 book Full Disclosure into a bank account that he controlled. According to the charges, Avenatti then freely spent the cash meant for Daniels to finance his jet-setting lifestyle, including using the cash on airfares, expensive restaurant meals, and car-lease payments on a Ferrari. Avenatti in February was convicted in a separate case of attempting to extort the Nike footwear company out of $20 million. That trial took place in New York, and Avenatti was held in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center to await trial in the Daniels fraud case, until he was released due to coronavirus fears. In his court filing Friday, Avenatti’s lawyer Tom Warren cited “the COVID-19 pandemic” as a reason to move the trial to Los Angeles. Furman gave Warren and United States Attorney Geoffrey Berman until Friday, May 22, to submit their new arguments as to why the trial should or should not be relocated. In another filing Friday, prosecutors and Avenatti’s defense lawyers agreed to postpone the trial at least until October, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally set to begin April 21, the trial had already been pushed to July 14 due to pandemic-related restrictions. Photo By CBS Los Angeles YouTube Screen Capture 

written by: Michael French

source: Avenatti Again Tries To Move Stormy Daniels Swindle Case To LA | AVN