Michael Avenatti had a rough week.
Avenatti represents porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles against President Donald Trump and Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. But Avenatti suffered a series of public relations setbacks recently — in large part due to his own behavior.
Avenatti’s questionable business history uncovered
The Daily Caller News Foundation published an investigation into Avenatti’s questionable business history on Monday. Avenatti left a string of jilted partners and vendors during his controversial time running Tully’s Coffee chain, the investigation revealed. People who worked with Avenatti described him to TheDCNF as ruthless, greedy and unbothered by ethical questions. Avenatti’s previous law firm, Eagan Avenatti LLP, filed for bankruptcy after sinking into millions of dollars in debt. (RELATED: With Avenatti In The Spotlight, His Own Questionable Past Emerges)
Avenatti threatens reporters who look into his background
Avenatti on Monday threatened to sue TheDCNF’s reporters personally for reporting on his history of questionable business practices. Avenatti’s threats backfired, as reporters from establishment outlets like The New York Times and The New Yorker defended the quality of TheDCNF’s journalism and rebuked Avenatti for his intimidation attempts. After TheDCNF published Avenatti’s threats, reporters from three other outlets came forward to say they had faced similar threats or intimidation from the porn star’s lawyer.
California State Bar investigating Avenatti
The California State Bar opened an investigation into Avenatti after Seattle attorney David Nold filed a complaint against the porn star’s lawyer, Fox News reported on Wednesday. Nold accused Avenatti of using Tully’s for an illegal “pump and dump” scheme that Nold claims defrauded the state and federal government of millions of dollars.
Avenatti’s company fired a woman for being pregnant — and still hasn’t paid her court-ordered $120,000 settlement
Avenatti’s coffee chain fired a pregnant woman for being pregnant, according to court documents reviewed by TheDCNF in an investigation published Thursday. The court awarded the victim $120,000 from two LLCs controlled by Avenatti. The victim’s lawyer told TheDCNF that she has yet to receive 1 cent.
Avenatti allegedly misses $2 million payment
Avenatti on Monday missed a scheduled $2 million payment to a former law partner, Jason Frank, according to a lawsuit Frank filed in court Wednesday. The missed payment was first reported by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday. Avenatti had personally guaranteed the $2 million payment as the first installment of a $4.85 million settlement with Frank. An arbitration panel found in February 2017 that Avenatti’s law firm had “acted with malice, oppression and fraud” and improperly withheld millions of dollars owed to Frank, the Times reported. “Avenatti has no valid excuse for failing to perform this obligation,” according to Frank’s lawsuit.
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