Prosecution rests its case at Avenatti fraud trial
Prosecutors have rested their case in the fraud trial of attorney Michael Avenatti, who is accused of stealing book proceeds from adult-film star Stormy Daniels, The Associated Press reported.
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman sent jurors home Monday so he could rule on several issues related to the defense’s case.
The prosecution’s final witness, Elizabeth Beier, an executive editor for Daniels’s autobiography, “Full Disclosure,” said during cross-examination Monday that only 40,000 copies of the book were sold, short of the 150,000 copies expected by the publisher.
“We lost money on the book,” Beier said in court.
The defense’s case in the trial is expected to begin on Tuesday, according to the AP.
Avenatti, who is defending himself in the trial, told the judge he wants to call on several witnesses to defend himself against the charges he’s facing.
Avenatti is currently facing wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges, the AP reported.
Prosecutors said Avenatti cheated Daniels out of nearly $300,000 of her $800,000 publisher’s advance for her 2018 autobiography, using the proceeds to pay his law firm employees and cover personal expenses.
Taking the stand in the Manhattan federal court last week, Daniels told jurors that she hired Avenatti in 2018 to represent her in her case against former President Trump, the AP reported.
Daniels also said in court that Avenatti promised her “that he would never take a penny from the book.”
Daniels wanted to end her nondisclosure deal with the former president so she could speak about having a sexual encounter with him, which Trump has denied.
It is unclear whether Avenatti will testify in court, the AP noted.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.