The curious case of celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti and his business dealings is continuing to reveal shocking allegations. The latest reports indicate that the embattled attorney may have embezzled millions from one NBA player.
According to Michael Finnegan of the LA Times, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside allegedly wired $2.75 million to Avenatti to settle a $3 million case with his ex-girlfriend, Alexis Gardner, whom Avenatti was representing at the time. Per the report, Avenatti was only entitled to take up to $1 million of the settlement.
Instead, Avenatti allegedly hid the entirety of the payment from Whiteside and used it to buy a share in a private jet.
The report does not state what the details of the lawsuit between Gardner and Whiteside were.
NBA player Hassan Whiteside wired $2.75 million to Michael Avenatti to settle a case with his ex-girlfriend, an Avenatti client. Prosecutors say the L.A. lawyer stole most of the money to buy a share of a private jet. Here’s the full story. https://t.co/5GjmbRXcPt
— Michael Finnegan (@finneganLAT) April 21, 2019
Back in 2016, Whiteside signed a four-year, $98 million contract extension with the Heat, so he probably won’t feel the sting of the alleged thievery too hard.
Still, Avenatti is being accused of stealing money from several clients, one of which was reportedly a mentally-ill paraplegic who received only a small fraction of a $4 million settlement.
As for Whiteside, the Heat star as well as Gardner told the LA Times that the settlement was resolved and that they have “both moved on amicably.”