New Michael Avenatti Court Filing Complains of Unfair Treatment

LOS ANGELES—As he awaits trial on charges that he swindled Stormy Daniels out of nearly $300,000, the AVN Hall of Famer’s embattled ex-lawyer Michael Avenatti has filed a new, 72-page document in federal court complaining that the coronavirus crisis and other factors have “severely impacted” his ability to prepare for his trial in the case. Among other factors, Avenatti in the court filing says that his lawyer H. Dean Steward is 68 years old and suffers from diabetes, and as a result is at “high risk” for contracting a serious case of coronavirus infection. Therefore, Steward has been “unable to spend any significant time with Mr. Avenatti” to prepare for trial in the Daniels embezzlement case. When a judge allowed him to leave the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, “the government insisted on severely limiting” Avenatti’s ability to use a computer, meaning that he has been unable to review discovery material — that is, evidence that may be used against him — produced by the prosecutors, which exists largely in digital form, according to the court filing. Much of the document, however, focuses on Avenatti’s complaints with what he perceives as his mistreatment by prosecutors. He notes that he was arrested in January for reasons that remain unclear, and transported to the Manhattan facility.  But instead of arresting him at his home “as is customary,” federal agents took him into custody “while he was attending a high-profile state bar hearing at which the media was present,” which predictably set off “a media circus.” Avenatti says he was denied the opportunity to take a shower that evening at Santa Ana jail, and was placed in solitary confinement against his wishes upon arriving at MCC in New York City. At the federal jail in Manhattan, he was placed in a top-security unit normally reserved for “high-profile terrorists or individuals accused of treason against the United States,” his court filing says. Avenatti, whose law license was recently suspended by the California Bar, is accused by prosecutors of diverting $290,000 from a publisher’s advance paid to Daniels into his own bank account. The advance was paid for Daniels 2018 memoir Full Disclosure. But Avenatti used the cash to finance his jet-setting lifestyle, including his payments on a leased Ferrari, according to prosecutors. Avenatti also claimed in Tuesday’s court filing that government prosecutors have inundated his lawyer with discovery documents, dumping more than 1 million pages of material on Steward, who is a sole practitioner and would need “months” to review the material, even with a team of multiple lawyers on the case. Photo By Luke Harold / Wikimedia Commons 

written by: Michael French

source: New Michael Avenatti Court Filing Complains of Unfair Treatment | AVN