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Mistrial in Michael Avenatti's California embezzlement case

Michael Avenatti
Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 24, 2021

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California judge has declared a mistrial in the embezzlement trial of attorney Michael Avenatti, who is charged with stealing millions in settlement money from his clients.

Judge James Selna ruled on technical grounds that federal prosecutors failed to turn over relevant financial evidence to Avenatti.

Another hearing in the case was set for Sept. 2, and Selna scheduled a tentative new trial date for Oct. 12.

It was the second recent trial for the brash lawyer who once represented porn actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against then-President Donald Trump.

Avenatti was sentenced to prison in an extortion case in New York.

In New York, Avenatti received a 2 1/2 year prison sentence, the Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, Avenatti is accused in California of cheating five clients out of nearly $10 million by collecting settlements on their behalf, but then funneling the funds to his accounts instead of theirs and lying about what happened to the money.