In a statement posted Wednesday to Twitter, attorney Michael Avenatti denied he misappropriated funds meant for his client, adult film star Stormy Daniels, in her suit against President Donald Trump as prosecutors in New York announced new charges against him.
“No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled,” Avenatti said. “She received millions of dollars’ worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”
The denial came after ABC News reported prosecutors in the Southern District of New York planned to file new charges against Avenatti in connection to his representation of Daniels. Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York released an indictment Wednesday afternoon charging the attorney with fraud and identity theft in connection to his representation of an unidentified client.
Avenatti represented Daniels in her case against President Donald Trump which sought to get her out of a non-disclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 presidential election. The agreement barred her from talking about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years before the election.
Unidentified sources briefed on the case told ABC News that Avenatti is suspected of misappropriating funds meant for Daniels as part of the suit.
In March, federal prosecutors in New York and California charged Avenatti with extortion and bank and wire fraud. Among other accusations, prosecutors said Avenatti attempted to extort millions of dollars from athletic brand Nike.
He said in a statement posted Tuesday on Twitter that he plans to plead not guilty to all charges.
“I look forward to the trial where I can begin to clear my name,” he wrote.
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