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1996 College Graduate Michael Avenatti spoke during Penn at a Penn Democrats event on Nov. 9, 2018.

Credit: Kelsey Warren

1994 College graduate Michael Avenatti, the high-profile attorney and former lawyer for Stormy Daniels, is facing a 36-count indictment from federal prosecutors for stealing money from his clients.

On Thursday, a California grand jury indicted Avenatti on the counts, which NPR reported would represent a maximum of 335 years in prison if he is found guilty on all of the charges. 

Avenatti is accused of four different crimes: wire fraud, tax fraud, bank fraud, and bankruptcy fraud. In one case, Avenatti is accused of stealing funds from a paraplegic client after he helped them win a legal settlement. Avenatti is said to have lied on multiple occasions about the money, claiming it was not yet available, and allegedly funneled it to his businesses, NPR reported.

The announcement comes as Avenatti is facing other criminal charges for allegedly threatening Nike and trying to extort them for millions of dollars.

Avenatti defended his innocence on Twitter, writing that his legal career has “made many powerful enemies,” and that he intends to fight any charges placed against him, and plead "NOT GUILTY." 

Avenatti has faced a large share of controversy over the past months, including allegations of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend in November 2018. Avenatti is also known for his public displays of opposition towards President Donald Trump and defense of Stormy Daniels, which he voiced at an event at Penn in November.

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