Michael Avenatti’s remaining charges likely to be dropped following guilty plea to wire, tax fraud

Michael Avenatti was indicted in 2019 on 36 counts, including bank and bankruptcy fraud

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Michael Avenatti, the disgraced lawyer who famously represented porn star Stormy Daniels, will likely have additional charges against him dropped after he pleaded guilty last week to wire and tax fraud. 

In a court filing Tuesday, federal prosecutors in Southern California said they expect "to move to dismiss the remaining counts of the Indictment after sentence is imposed."

FILE: Michael Avenatti speaks to members of the media after leaving federal court on Feb. 4, 2022, in New York.

FILE: Michael Avenatti speaks to members of the media after leaving federal court on Feb. 4, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Avenatti, 51, pleaded guilty on Thursday to multiple counts of wire fraud for swindling his clients out of settlement funds they were owed. He is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges on Sept. 19.

Prosecutors said those guilty pleas "will allow the Court to impose a sentence … that addresses the full scope of the defendant’s criminal conduct," and that such a sentence makes further trial proceeding unnecessary. 

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Avenatti was indicted in 2019 on 36 counts, including bank and bankruptcy fraud. Prosecutors said Tuesday they aren't planning to try Avenatti on six of the remaining charges and asked the court to delay trial on 25 other charges until next year.

Authorities said Avenatti cheated clients by negotiating and collecting settlement payments on their behalf and funneling the money to accounts he controlled. They said he owes his clients $9 million in restitution, but Avenatti said he disagrees with the estimate and the amount is much lower. 

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Avenatti — who is suspended from practicing law in California — is currently serving five years in prison for convictions in two cases in New York. He was convicted of stealing book proceeds from Stormy Daniels, the porn actor who catapulted Avenatti to fame as he represented her during her legal battles with then-President Donald Trump. He also was convicted of trying to extort Nike if the shoemaker didn't pay him up to $25 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report