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Justice Department drops 31 remaining fraud charges against Michael Avenatti

Justice Department drops 31 remaining fraud charges against Michael Avenatti
The Justice Department on Tuesday announced it will drop the remaining 31 fraud charges against California attorney Michael Avenatti after he is sentenced on five other charges. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced it will drop the remaining fraud counts against California attorney Michael Avenatti.

In a filing Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, prosecutors said they plan to dismiss the remaining charges against Avenatti, who pleaded guilty to five counts last week, after he is sentenced on Sept. 19.

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"Such a sentence would obviate the need for a trial on the remaining counts," prosecutors wrote. "Accordingly, the government expects the move to dismiss the remaining counts of the indictment after sentence is imposed."

Avenatti pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud as well as one count of tax fraud for attempting to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code for embezzling $4 million dollars from four of his clients and endeavoring to obstruct the IRS' effort to collect $5 million in unpaid payroll taxes for his company, Tully's Coffee.

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He faces a statutory maximum of 83 years in prison, although his sentence is expected to fall below the maximum.

"We look forward to presenting all of the positive factors about Mr. Avenatti at sentencing. His long legal journey is nearing the end," Avenatti's attorney, Dean Steward, told CNN.

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Avenatti is currently in prison serving a four-year prison sentence for stealing nearly $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels. He was convicted in a New York court of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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At the time, he was already serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for an attempt to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

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