Stormy Daniels lawyer and former employee of Rahm Emanuel, Michael Avenatti, is facing questions about his past business dealings.
A complaint was recently filed against him with the California State Bar Association for his role in a transaction that occurred several years ago and involved Tully’s Coffee purchasing an entity called Global Baristas.
The complaint, filed by attorney David Nold, states Avenetti and Global Baristas encountered a lien for roughly $5 million in unpaid federal income taxes. They claimed the taxes were withdrawn from employee paychecks but were never turned over to the federal government, The Seattle Times reports.
Since Global Baristas acquired Tully’s Coffee, the chain has struggled immensely as it has faced with a litany of lawsuits.
Avenatti argued to Fox News that he was not a “member” of Global Baristas US LLC, and claimed he was part of the entity that owned it, Global Baristas LLC.
“The federal tax lien is related to an entity that was owned by another company that I used to have an interest in,” Avenatti said to Fox News Thursday. “At no point in time was I ever responsible for any taxes for Global Baristas US LLC, nor was I ever a member of that entity, nor did I own any direct interest in that entity.”
Contrary to his statement, a 2017 court document acquired by the Seattle Times demonstrates Avenatti recognized the fact that he was the “principal” of Global Baristas US LLC.
The complaint is “complete and utter nonsense” Avenatti argued to Fox News, claiming it was filed by an “unethical lawyer who was recently held in contempt of court.”
“The court ruled that I should not have given the full Avenatti deposition transcript to the news media,” Nold said to Fox. “The court found nothing wrong with sending the bar complaint.”
Another lawsuit was filed against Daniels’ lawyer in 2013 by none other than actor Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey contended Avenatti had not fulfilled his financial commitment to the coffee chain. The lawsuit was resolved shortly after it was filed.
In Seattle , big day tomorrow ! Hope we pull it off ! pic.twitter.com/U1nR5CWL
— Patrick Dempsey (@PatrickDempsey) January 3, 2013
Avenatti is no longer involved with either Global Baristas entity.
Before he stepped into the spotlight as Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Avenatti was notorious for his “unconventional” tactics and had a reputation as being an effective and aggressive attorney.
Avenatti has a history if intertwining with prominent figures. In the early days of his career, he worked for a political opposition research and media firm operated by now-Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.