Aug 24, 2021 - Economy

Mistrial declared in Michael Avenatti's embezzlement case

 Michael Avenatti, attorney and founding partner of Eagan Avenatti LP, left, arrives to federal court in Santa Ana, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 20

Attorney Michael Avenatti outside federal court in Santa Ana, California, on July 20. Photo: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A California judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in attorney Michael Avenatti's embezzlement case, in which he's accused of stealing nearly $10 million in settlement funds from clients.

Why it matters: It's rare for a mistrial to be declared in such cases as faced by the lawyer best known for previously representing adult film actor Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against former President Trump.

Yes, but: Avenatti now faces a retrial on the matter, legal experts told AP, after U.S. District Court Judge Michael Selna in Orange County reached the decision due to a technicality — that prosecutors failed to turn financial evidence over to Avenatti, per the Los Angeles Times.

The big picture: Avenatti was originally charged in 2019 with counts including embezzlement, wire fraud, tax evasion and bankruptcy and bank fraud.

  • Last month, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for trying to extort Nike out of more than $20 million in a separate case in New York.

What's next: Selna set a new trial date of Oct. 12 for Avenatti in the embezzlement case.

Go deeper: The rise and fall of Michael Avenatti

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