Why isn't Michael Avenatti in jail?

Porn star Stormy Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has covered television screens across America, and because of it, he claims his exposure is why he was able to get his hands on the bank records of President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, as well as the bank records of several other Michael Cohens, none of whom have anything at all to do with President Trump.

Possession of such stolen property is well worth throwing him in jail all by itself, and even the experts quoted in the leftwing Daily Beast say he's got a problem with that one.

But he's actually got a longtime record of sleaze and shadiness and if an investigative report, which ran in the Seattle Times a month ago is correct, he looks like the sort of guy who absolutely belongs in jail. He did despicable things in his business practices that anyone can see is illegal. Seattle Times reports:

Since his investment firm bought bankrupt Tully’s Coffee for $9.15 million at auction five years ago, Avenatti’s company has been named in more than 50 state and federal legal complaints, including commercial lawsuits, breach of lease actions and warrants for unpaid taxes, court records show.

All the while, Tully’s has shuttered store after store — from Everett to Bellevue, Tacoma to Seattle, and beyond — with employees left in limbo, landlords left unpaid and customers left holding now seemingly worthless loyalty cards.

Item number one on the Seattle Times list that follows is unpaid taxes, five million dollars' worth. Why were they unpaid? Because he took the cash allotted for tax payment right out of the company bank book and the workers' paychecks, and kept it all for himself, according to a lawsuit filed in California

In other words, the company had the money, they earmarked it for the IRS, the low level workers were being told their taxes were withheld, and Avenatti took that cash and kept it. He now says it's the new owner of his coffee company, Tully, who needs to pay the bill.

This looks insanely illegal. Imagine what would happen if one of us misappropriated the IRS's money like that. Imagine the betrayal of workers as each and every one of them gets a letter from the IRS telling them they didn't pay their taxes and owed a lot more.

The new owners said he engaged in "pump and dump" to the new owners as they bought the company, puffing up its price and then dumping its worthless contents onto the next guy. And oh, he helped himself to another $100,000 of the company's hard-earned earnings to pay off other lawyers in an unrelated bankruptcy over in California. He got himself this lawsuit for this sleazebaggery:

In a complaint submitted to the California State Bar Association — and cc’d to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle — Bellevue attorney David Nold asserts Avenatti carried out an illegal “pump and dump” scheme through his Washington state-registered Tully’s ownership firm, Global Baristas US, LLC.

Nold’s complaint contends that while Avenatti ran the company, he fleeced nearly $6 million in federal and state tax withholdings — money meant to be held in trust for payment of quarterly taxes — from the paychecks of Tully’s employees.

The complaint also claims Avenatti fraudulently transferred $100,000 from the Tully’s operation last year to retain lawyers for his California law firm’s unrelated bankruptcy.

Naturally, he was the opposite of a creator of value - store after store shuttered because of his thievery. I bet he gets away with that one as workers get laid off and pay the price for his despicableness.

The Seattle Times couldn't confirm if the State Bar of California is investigating this guy, but it wouldn't be surprising if it were. Avenatti, meanwhile, attacked the credibility of the people suing him, and as the Times noted, he didn't provide specifics, nor did the publicity hound properly answer all questions the Times put in front of him.

Nobody should be surprised that he represents a porn "star." This is about his speed. But if any of the allegations reported by the Seattle Times are true, why isn't this guy in jail?

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