Michael Avenatti, the embattled former attorney for the pornographic film actor and producer, Stormy Daniels, was arrested Tuesday evening in California for alleged bail violations, according to a court filing by federal prosecutors.
The arrest came as Avenatti was appearing before the State Bar Court in Los Angeles, which is conducting disciplinary proceedings related to multiple criminal cases that have been filed against him in California and New York, the Daily Beast reported.
Avenatti was arrested by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents on allegation of violating the terms of his pre-trial release, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the Los Angeles US attorney’s office.
The documents were under seal, so Mrozek could not provide details on the allegations. Avenatti was expected to appear in federal court in Santa Ana on Wednesday.
“I understand that Mr. Avenatti has been arrested by the federal authorities for violating the terms of his release,” attorney Steven Bledsoe, who represents Avenatti in the State Bar case, said after being present for the arrest.
Avenatti said, “Completely innocent,” as he was being led out of the courthouse, according to the media outlet, which reported that the arrest occurred during a break in testimony.
Shortly after the arrest, federal prosecutors in New York informed a judge there that Avenatti had been accused by prosecutors in California of violating the conditions of his bail.
The court filing did not make it clear what Avenatti allegedly did to violate bail. California court filings on the matter were not available Tuesday evening.
A message seeking comment was left with Avenatti’s attorneys.
But he also faces trial in May in Los Angeles on charges that he defrauded clients of millions of dollars.
He has pleaded not guilty to those charges, along with allegations in a criminal case in Manhattan federal court alleging he ripped off ex-client Stormy Daniels of proceeds of a book deal. The second New York trial was scheduled to start in May.
Earlier Tuesday, Avenatti was on a telephone conference with his lawyers, prosecutors and Gardephe.
During the hearing, the judge refused to postpone the Nike extortion trial scheduled to start with jury selection Wednesday.
Avenatti’s lawyers had requested a monthlong delay to study additional documents.
Avenatti has said he has been unfairly targeted by the US Justice Department after publicly quarreling with Donald Trump.