Avenatti Accused of Squatting in $12 Million Home as Swiss Co. Mysteriously Tied Owner Up in Court


It’s a humorous irony that the Stormy Daniels branch of the Robert Mueller fishing expedition now hinges on an alleged (and minor) financial impropriety by the president and/or his lawyer. The irony, of course, lies in the fact that that Ms. Daniels is represented by a man whose pecuniary history would make Ivan Boesky blush.

First there was the revelation that Michael Avenatti was fighting off no less than 46 lawsuits, including one from a former business partner who helped the lawyer buy coffeehouse chain Tully’s back in 2013.

It later emerged that he hadn’t paid taxes on his law firm for three years and owed the IRS nearly $5 million, in addition to almost $2 million to employees of the firm who said he defrauded them and another $1 million to other creditors, all with total assets of just $412,000 according to bankruptcy court filings. (Avenatti was able to work out a payment plan for all of that when $8 million mysteriously fell into his lap just about the time he started representing Stormy Daniels.)

Like many Avenatti-watchers, I kind of figured that would be the end of it. After all, how much worse could it get than that?

Quite a bit, as it turns out: If documents uncovered by attorney Robert Barnes are correct, Avenatti had been squatting in a $12 million house in spite of the fact that the owner wanted him out.

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If you’re not familiar with Barnes, you’re probably going to be soon. Barnes is a trial lawyer who seems to have dedicated a fair amount of time to chronicling Mr. Avenatti’s financial misadventures, particularly those that have ended up in courtrooms and thus left a paper trail.

In a series of tweets, he laid out exactly what Avenatti did when he found a house in Newport Beach, California that he fancied:

In a series of tweets early this week, Barnes detailed Avenatti’s, um, unusual living situation and how he may have defrauded the owner.

Could the Swiss company be somehow related to Michael Avenatti? Does United Airlines have a bit of a public relations problem when it comes to customer service?

Do you think Michael Avenatti acted improperly in this case?

Look, nobody’s expecting a Hollywood lawyer who lives well beyond his means to have the scruples of Sir Thomas More or Atticus Finch. Avenatti is a man who is once quoted as saying that, “Life is meant to be lived; there are no dress rehearsals.”

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That all sounds very good until you realize that’s the kind of statement that usually escapes the mouth of someone signing a lease at a Maserati dealership when any financial adviser worth their salt would physically drag them over to the Hyundai showroom across the street.

Most of us have this kind of person in our lives in some capacity, and we’re all familiar with their shenanigans. Those shenanigans, however, don’t usually extend to living rent-free — typically defined as squatting — in a $12 million house while a mysterious Swiss shell company presses legal action. And lo and behold, that company was gone in a flash. The owner’s headaches, one assume, continued long after this.

We do have to keep in mind that these are documents obtained by another lawyer, but Robert Barnes has a fairly solid track record in reporting on Avenatti’s various legal peccadilloes. And, after all, if he’s wrong Avenatti can sue him back to the stone age for defamation. There’s been no talk of that yet from Avenatti’s side — on this allegation or regarding anything else that Barnes has uncovered.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this isn’t the fact that Avenatti was able to get away with squatting, however.

It’s the fact that the media feels there is absolutely no need to ask him about any of these alleged financial improprieties. Considering the fact that he’s more or less pitched a tent outside of Anderson Cooper’s office at CNN, you would think that someone would find at least a few minutes to question Daniels’ lawyer over this panoply of issues that seriously call his character into question.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture