Avenatti in OC federal court following wire and bank fraud charges

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Michael Avenatti's initial appearance inside a U.S. District courthouse was brief Monday afternoon, following the federal government's filing of bank and wire fraud charges against him just more than a week prior.

Avenatti quickly made his way inside away from cameras when he arrived Monday. The attorney, best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Donald Trump, was arrested one week earlier in a case out of New York where he was accused of trying to extort $25 million from Nike.

Monday's hearing was on separate accusations from federal prosecutors who said Avenatti fraudulently secured more than $4 million in loans through the filing of bogus tax returns and illegally pocketed $1.6 million from a client.

In court Monday, Avenatti's demeanor was focused, but relaxed. At times the defendant even laughed with his legal team. The defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing, then asked Judge John Early to allow him to not appear at his arraignment.

Avenatti made a brief statement outside the courthouse saying he was now relying on the justice system he had worked in for nearly two decades, representing "Davids versus Goliaths" as an attorney.

"I will now spend the time in connection with this case and the case in New York relying on the same justice system that I have now subjected myself to," Avenatti said, adding, "I am highly confident that when the process plays out, that justice will be done."

Avenatti didn't take any questions after his statement, which lasted less than a minute.

The judge didn't rule Monday on Avenatti's request to not appear at his arraignment, which was set for the morning of April 29.
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