Bronfman lawyer, Michael Avenatti up to His Eyeballs in Charges – Declares Innocence

Michael Avenatti

He was Clare Bronfman’s lawyer – for a moment.  Then he got into trouble and had to back out.

Frankly he is in so much trouble now that he may rival the Vanguard for who gets the lengthier prison sentence.

Michael Avenatti, 49, has been indicted on both coasts – in Los Angeles and Manhattan.  He has three federal cases against him.

In the Southern District of NY, he is accused of stealing $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels and attempting to extort Nike for more than $20 million.

In the Central District of California, he is accused of stealing from five clients.

The busy lawyer represented Clare Bronfman in her attempt to purchase justice from the Department of Justice.  Avenatti also represented Clare in her attempt to fight me in a civil lawsuit.

By the time Avenatti was indicted, he no longer represented the sinister heiress, who funded the Bronfman-Raniere criminal racketeering enterprise for more than 15 years.

Avenatti pleaded not guilty to all charges in New York and Los Angeles.

In answering the Nike extortion arraignment, Avenatti told the judge he was “100 percent not guilty!”

After his arraignment, Avenatti told the media, “Does anyone know when the president and Don Jr. will be arraigned?”

Avenatti waxed poetic as he told reporters, “For over 20 years, I have represented Davids vs. Goliaths across this nation in many courthouses just like this,” he told a wall of cameras. “I am now facing the fight of my life against the ultimate Goliath, the Trump administration. I intend on fighting these charges and I look forward to a jury verdict in each of these cases. I am confident that when a jury of my peers passes judgment on my conduct, that justice will be done and I will be fully exonerated.”

The DOJ alleges that Avenatti tricked Daniels’ literary representative to forward payments from her publisher for her book “Full Disclosure,” to an account Avenatti controlled.  He allegedly forged her signature.

Avenatti allegedly used Daniels’ money to pay a lease payment for his Ferrari, travel expenses, dry cleaning, $56,000 in payroll at his law firm and into a coffee business he owned.

Avenatti, denying all wrongdoing, said, “No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled. She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”

In a separate case, Avenatti is accused of demanding money from Nike on behalf of a youth basketball coach who had information that company employees made illicit payments to the families of high school athletes. Avenatti wanted more than $20 million for himself and about $1 million for his client -the coach – or Avenatti said, he would go to the press on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the NCAA tournament and expose Nike.

He was arrested shortly after he announced on social media that he had scheduled a press conference to expose Nike the following day.

A few days prior to his arrest, Avenatti was quietly meeting with DOJ attorneys in the Eastern District of NY to try to craft a deal for the sinister Clare Bronfman, reportedly on the basis that, if he blew in Nike to the DOJ, they would go easy on little Clare.  This is called a third party cooperation agreement and Avenatti no doubt expected to reap big money from Bronfman, but the deal fell apart when Avenatti was arrested for attempting to extort Nike.

Clare’s lead lawyer, Mark Geragos, was with Avenatti during the allegedly extortionate discussions with Nike’s attorneys and again during the conversation with the DOJ – on Clare’s behalf.

Geragos was named as a co conspirator in the Nike extortion case but it remains unclear if he will be indicted. He may be acting as a prosecution witness.

One memorable moment in court occurred just after Avenatti’s arrest when the duplicitous Bronfman was asked by Judge Nicholas Garaufis in her criminal case if Avenatti was one of her attorneys.  This had not been revealed to the court and the judge appeared somewhat stern when he learned of it through the prosecution and asked the dishonest and perjury-loving Bronfman.

The clever heiress managed to faint on the spot and court was adjourned for the day.  The next day Bronfman, through her attorneys, admitted that she hired Avenatti to help her with her criminal case and to sue me.

On the west coast, Avenatti is charged in a 36-count indictment in federal court for stealing client funds, tax crimes, bank fraud, perjury, embezzlement, aggravated identity fraud and other financial crimes.

Avenatti allegedly stole millions from five clients and used shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the theft

One client, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, a mentally ill paraplegic on disability, won a $4-million settlement of a suit against Los Angeles County. The money was wired to Avenatti in 2015, but he hid it from Johnson for years, according to the indictment.

Avenatti spent all of the $4 million, some of it at GB Autosport, LLC, which managed Avenatti’s race-car team, and Global Baristas U.S., his Seattle coffee company, according to the indictment.

Out of his $4 million, Avenatti did manage to pay Johnson a total of $124,000 in installments and made some rent payments at Johnson’s assisted living facility.  He told Johnson the payments were “advances” on the county settlement payment which had not arrived yet – which was a lie.

In another case, in 2017, Avenatti received $2.75 million for a client’s legal settlement, but concealed that too, the indictment says. The next day, he spent  $2.5 million to buy a private jet.

He is also accused of embezzling from another client’s settlement of $1.6 million. After the money was wired to one of his bank accounts, Avenatti denied receiving it even after he’d spent it all on personal expenses, prosecutors said.

Avenatti had high expenses of course, he had a multimillion-dollar home in Laguna Beach, a private jet , a Ferrari and many other expensive toys.

In Los Angeles, Avenatti’s maximum sentence if convicted on all counts is 335 years in prison.

Avenatti faces up to 47 years if convicted on charges of trying to extort $20 million from Nike.

“I am entitled to a FULL presumption of innocence and am confident that justice will be done once ALL of the facts are known,” Avenatti wrote about himself.

Avenatti remains free on bail.

Avenatti was also arrested in November in Los Angeles for domestic violence, though he did not face felony charges.


About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • Thought this was interesting tidbit @benszemkus says he went to a party. He saw the above individual and he names a lot of people. One was Allison Mack and also Raniere. Szemkus then names quite a few politicians and some people who folks would recognize in the news. Wonder if these people he names are part of Nxivm? Wonder if they get named in the trial.

  • How did Gregaros worm his way out?

    Because he is too intelligent to have gotten too deep. He did not have to worm his way out.

  • When can they get him disbarred? I’ve seen local attorneys lose their practices for far less than what this Avenatti character has done.

  • Because of a different case that Avenatti decided to take, I’ve been paying attention to his actions for a long time. I can only hope that he he has finished himself off as any kind of attorney for the rest of his days. Either he killed off his own self-control a long time ago, or Avenatti didn’t have any integrity in the first place.

    Thanks to Mr. Parlato for putting this piece in his Frank Report. It makes me soooo mad that this coke rage psycho ever, ever tried to harm Frank. There will be more to this story.

      • In July 2017, Scientologist Mark Burton and his mother-in-law, Brigid Sweetman, used Avenatti to sue actor Jim Carrey for wrongful death. This was over the suicide death of Cathriona White, Carrey’s former girlfriend. Cathriona was a Scientologist from Ireland who lived in L.A. and was married to Mark Burton when she died.

        In early Feb 2018, the case was dismissed, thrown out of court. Avenatti’s rapidfire, aggressive, stonewalling rhetoric and ugly facial expressions when that lawsuit began got me to studying whatever I could find out about his previous casework, public behavior, etc. The month after this case was dismissed, Avenatti began his association with Stormy Daniels with a big bang. So-to-speak

  • Michael Avenatti declares his innocence? The guy probably hasn’t been innocent since he was five years old, if even then.

  • Not unusual for publishing houses etc. to steal royalties. Author ending up with nothing. Same with movies , Color Purple comes to mind…….I think there is something else causing the changes going on now. Loss of mafia power through vatican being in a lot of trouble.Seeing more and more drug busts , mafia king pin murdered in NJ. …first in 35 years. Sam Giancana stated in the book Double Cross, written by his brother, “Working with the CIA is just like the mob, in fact, it is the mob. Sam rose up in the mafia despite an app. 8th grade education……at the end of his “career”, he was traveling the world meeting with heads of state.

    • Frank, how did you learn that Clare had hired Avenatti to represent her in the civil case against you?

      Bangkook, my comments have been delayed several times before- maybe Frank will explain why some comments post days late.

      Scott- both Avenatti and Trump claim innocence….(but do criminals ever admit to being guilty?)

      • What crimes has Trump been indicted on lady? Your delusional lies get old. Please stop pitching bullshit as the coup attempt is now coming to light and your hero James Comey is going to be arrested soon. Harsh Reality for you leftist lunatics

      • Where do I say he’s been indicted? But I wouldn’t be surprised if that does happen eventually, considering all his lies to organized crime, money laundering, etc…

        • He is not going to be indicted you fool. You continue to come on here and blow out stool all over the place. You have never been fuckin right. You have more in common with Avenatti than President Trump. Frankly (no pun intended) your lil buddy Justy is going to be facing the music regarding corruption after he is voted out of office this fall.

  • You dodged a bullet big time on that one, Frank.

    Wasn’t that long ago Avenatti was being hailed as a hero in the high ranks of Hollywood hypocrisy and the #metoo movement. …Thank you, Nike!

    I’m sure you know Bronfman and Salinas combined have plenty more ammo where that came from and they’re still gunning for you.

    I’m astonished Gregaros, Avenatti’s partner in crime and his lovely shark spawn, Teny, not to mention Senor “Fast & Furious,” Dennis Burke, are still in this case.

    Don’t tell me anyone’s trying to drain any swamp when they deliberately leave sharks in the tank to go after chum like Frank.

    No offense, Frank and Chitra. To them you’re chum. To us you’re both heroes.

    • Heroes?

      Speak for yourself, Mistress Heidi.

      Frank used to be a hero.

      Now he’s literally Mussolini, Castro and Erdogan all rolled up into a single anti-free speech dictator. 🙂

      Frank not only deletes comments, but he often ‘delays’ comments (waits to approve them) for a couple of days, until the post has fallen low enough that few people might read the comment.

      That’s cowardly shit right there.


      Cuz if the post truly violates the ‘rules’ then he should have simply deleted it, not delayed it. Only a PUSSY would use delaying tactics like that. That’s like something a liberal party member would do.

      Hero, you say?

      Frank is a PUSSY and a COWARD and I hope he gets ASS CANCER as penance for his transgressions against free speech and the Lord’s word. 🙂

      • I have the same delayed/not posted issues, but I also don’t expect Frank to be continuously monitoring and approving new comments, he has other things to do. I think he has other people helping him, except for “special” cases like us (or me in Heidi’s deranged world! LOL). He does it because the pansies need protection. So much for womens’ lib.

  • 90% of the “Latest” are from Mexico.

    Emiliano Salinas is toast. Hopefully the rest of MXIVM (Alex Betancourt, Jack Levi, Edgar and Omar Boone, ….) will also slink away.

    • Even if Mexico’s mainstream media doesn’t give it much coverage, I can’t imagine but that testimony like Dani’s is going to destroy NXIVM’s reputation in Mexico, when it can be easily accessed on the internet.

      I don’t see how the organization there could survive without somehow reconstituting itself in a form that was so distanced from NXIVM, that it was essentially something different anyway. Both Mexican and US loyalists must be struggling with what to do about NXIVM’s “tech”; they have intellectual property problems if they continue to use it without some formal authorization so long as the organization exists and there’s some lingering threat of legal action; but if they have a formal connection to NXIVM, then they will have a hard time distancing themselves from the organization’s reputation.

    • notice just how much they have the people’s best interests at heart scott ;0 yes a truly moral avenatti for prez….with some jesuit vp of course its all the rage

        • most obviously scott but think about it they got no one …… they are devoid of principles and until they own their own criminal behavior that was allowed in the name of 2016 and the hrc stampede to annoint her and her jesuit vp …. who in their right mind would support a party that argues the eric cartman arguement in court of law I DO WHAT I WANT {translates to voters be damned we got electronic machines and a shitpile of dead people in addition to the understood states of ny and california where votes are shredded not counted}

  • A storm is on the Horizon. Now that people are standing up to crooked NXIVM lawyers.

    I hear more news is coming soon.

    • Shadowstate,

      I am glad your making good use of your free time…

      ……Between church, the Frankreport and your court-appointed psychiatrist…..

      …….You shop for T-shirts with idioms and pithy expressions?

      How very cute…..

      • If anyone displays as much arrogance as Keith Raniere it is you mainstream New York Republicans.
        After pissing the New York GOP down the drain you arrogant cusses think all the other Republicans in America are Bible thumping peasants.
        When was the last time you mainstream Republicans won a major state wide race in New York?
        George Pataki in 2002.
        How pathetic!
        Every time I need a good laugh I think back to the time Republican Mayor of New York City John Lindsey gave the actress Florence Henderson (Carol Brady) crabs.

        Former New York mayor John Lindsay (r.) gave Florence Henderson (l.) crabs during a one-night-stand while the actress was married, she admits in her memoir. … Henderson immediately called a doctor who helped her get rid of the tiny parasitic insects also known as pubic lice.Jun 26, 2011

        Maybe that’s why New York State dumped the mainstream Republican party.
        The New York GOP politicians kept giving New Yorkers crabs.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083