Michael Avenatti Violated Terms of COVID Release, Prosecutors Say

In a new court filing last week, former Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti complained of unfair treatment by prosecutors who agreed in April to let him out of jail due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But in a new filing Sunday, those prosecutors say that Avenatti violated the terms of his release—raising the possibility that he could be sent back to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. Avenatti is currently under home confinement in Venice, California, at the home of a friend, Jay Manheimer. When prosecutors performed a metadata analysis of recent court filings by Avenatti’s defense, they found that the documents were “authored” on a computer owned by Manheimer—indicating, they say, that Avenatti himself wrote the documents on Manheimer’s internet-connected computer. Under the terms of his release, Avenatti is prohibited from accessing the internet. The documents that prosecutors say he wrote contain news articles downloaded from online sites. “The government believes that defendant has likely violated the conditions of his temporary release by using his third-party custodian Jay Manheimer’s internet-accessible computer to draft his last five filings in this case,” the prosecutors wrote in a 33-page court brief. “At a minimum, defendant and his counsel have not been candid with this Court.” Avenatti’s lawyer Dean Steward, according to a CNN report, denied that his client had accessed Manheimer’s computer, and said that the metadata showed only that Manheimer had created PDF files of the court filings. “There is also nothing prohibiting Mr. Manheimer from printing to PDF the final agreed-upon filing,” Steward wrote in his own court filing. Avenatti, who was convicted in February of attempting to extort $20 million from the Nike Corporation, now faces an array of bank fraud and tax-related charges, as well as a charge that he embezzled a nearly-$300,000 book advance from Daniels. In the court filing, prosecutors also allege that Avenatti has deliberately chosen “not to provide his retained counsel in this case with the resources necessary to prepare for trial in a timely manner. Instead, defendant has chosen to devote his resources to his other prosecutions or ongoing civil matters, and to continue to fund his lavish lifestyle.” Avenatti has claimed that he needs a delay in the upcoming trial on the various financial charges because his lawyers lack the resources to review the massive amount of “discovery” material provided by the government prosecutors. Prosecutors now want a hearing on whether Avenatti violated the terms of his release, and asked a judge to green-light a search of Manheimer’s home, and his computer. Photo By Showtime The Circus / Wikimedia Commons     

written by: Lawrence Avery

source: Michael Avenatti Violated Terms of COVID Release, Prosecutors Say | AVN

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