Summary: An attorney filed a complaint against Michael Avenatti with the California State Bar.
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer has brought a lot of trouble for President Donald Trump and Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, but now his own business dealings are starting to be questioned.
Attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted this week allegations that companies and a Russian oligarch paid Cohen’s LLC millions, and he said that there was a chance that Russian money was used to pay his client Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016. These claims erupted in a slew of bad publicity for the companies such as AT&T, but it has also brought a spotlight on Avenatti’s own past.
The Seattle Times said that a complaint was filed against Avenatti with the California State Bar Association because of his alleged bad business dealings concerning the Failed Coffee Chain, Tully’s Coffee. Five years ago, Avenatti and Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey bought Tully’s coffee for $9.15 million at an auction, and since then, Avenatti, through his investment company Global Baristas, has been hit with almost 50 lawsuits regarding the failed beverage chain.
The State Bar complaint was filed by attorney David Nold of Bellevue, Washington who said that Avenatti and Global Baristas had a lien for unpaid federal taxes that totaled to roughly $5 million. Nold accused Avenatti of withholding taxes from employee paychecks but never giving them to the government and he said that Avenatti did not have a “fitness to practice law.” According to Fox News, Avenatti said that he believed Global Baristas paid the outstanding taxes.
“The federal tax lien is related to an entity that was owned by another company that I used to have an interest in,” Avenatti told 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.”
When Avenatti and Dempsey purchased Tully’s, the chain had filed for bankruptcy, and years after the acquisition, the two shuttered all of Tully’s stores because of all of the legal problems that ensued.
Fox News questioned Nold and Avenatti about the recent State Bar complaint, and the two attorneys appeared to personally dislike each other. The network contacted the State Bar for their side of the story, but the organization said that they could not comment on complaints.
In addition to this State Bar complaint, Avenatti is also facing an inquiry from the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General, who wants to know whether or not it was improper for the attorney to release Cohen’s financial records.
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