The Latest: Avenatti tells court he’s hired a defense lawyer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a criminal case against attorney Michael Avenatti (all times local):

10:52 a.m.

Attorney Michael Avenatti has told a federal judge in California that he has hired a lawyer to represent him in a case alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients, cheated on taxes and committed bank fraud.

Avenatti announced the hiring of attorney H. Dean Steward during a brief appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.

The announcement came a day after the court rejected Avenatti’s request for a public defender.

Attorneys for both sides agreed to push back a tentative trial date another two to three months and said they would send a new proposed date to the court.

Avenatti has pleaded not guilty in California and to charges filed in New York that he threatened to expose that Nike paid high school basketball players unless they paid him up to $25 million.

Avenatti rose to fame representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in her legal battles against President Donald Trump.

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10:28 p.m.

A federal judge Tuesday rejected attorney Michael Avenatti’s request for a public defender to represent him in a case alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients, cheated on his taxes and committed bank fraud.

Judge James Selna denied the request without providing a reason on the eve of Avenatti’s appearance in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on the issue of who will represent him.

Prosecutors want Avenatti to fill out financial forms to show he can’t afford a lawyer — or determine how much he could contribute to his defense — before one is appointed.

Avenatti asked not to file financial paperwork until after the case is closed, citing the complexity of his finances and his legal situation, which includes handling litigation while also facing lawsuits.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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