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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "theft"

Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China

Westlake Legal Group ap-trump-xi-press-conference-620x413 Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China United States theft The Bulwark Tariffs republicans Politics NBA National Review Morey Geo-Political Enemy Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade Featured Story dangerous corruption consistency conflict China Allow Media Exception

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

As tensions with China and the NBA boil over, we’ve seen a remarkable showing of unity among all corners of American life. It seems we’ve finally reached a point where people recognize what China truly is and that the long term dangers of continuing to shovel cash and influence their way outweighs the short term gains.

At the same time, I find myself frustrated by some of the double talk I’m seeing on the issue because my fear is this new, widespread epiphany may not last.

Let’s remember, it was just five minutes ago that many Republicans within the beltway and their subsequent media circles were vehemently stumping for unfettered free trade with China. I can’t count how many “Trump is an idiot and will destroy the economy” tweets I’ve seen over the past few years. The consistent message has been to call for a total normalization of trade relations with China, absent any additional tariffs or leverage being used to press them.

Take this example of contradiction at play.

I actually agree with French on that point. But here’s the thing, none of this is new.

We’ve known for a long time that China is a human rights violator. We’ve known they cheat and steal when it comes to trade. It’s well documented that they put people in concentration camps and that they’ve killed minority groups via genocide. Heck, there are stories of them harvesting organs of prisoners.

No offense to Guy, because he’s right to point out what China is doing with Muslim minorities, but at the same time, he and many others like him have found Trump’s trade war with China highly objectionable on economic grounds. But if the Chinese are evil and reprehensible, why would anyone support China being such a large trade partner in the first place? These are questions many Republicans haven’t properly grappled with, instead choosing to illogical compartmentalize them.

Getting back to French, since he knows everything about China’s history of atrocities, why has he spent so much of his time levying critiques such as this?

When you hear Donald Trump claim that he can magically negotiate “winning” trade deals with China or Japan, here’s what it means in the real world: more expensive goods at home as tariffs drive up prices, and less opportunity for exports abroad as trading partners retaliate with import restrictions of their own. We won’t see textile mills spring open across the land — we’ll just pay more for shirts and socks.

Again, French isn’t necessarily wrong in a vacuum, although he was wrong about manufacturing not coming back. It actually has increased over Trump’s presidency, but tariffs do hurt American companies in the short term (they also hurt the Chinese). Yet, if he truly believes China is a tyrannical dictatorship and is a dangerous threat, why exactly would he be stumping for the status quo of enriching them and expanding their influence?

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t stump for unlimited trade with China, allowing them exponential growth to challenge us and our ideals, while at the same time proclaiming how terrible they are and how they are destroying democratic freedoms.

It’s time to choose a side and stick to it, even if there’s a cost.

I’m not writing this to call anyone out. I’m writing this to challenge Republicans to come up with a message on China that’s not a convoluted mess. When Trump started hitting China early in his tenure, the Republican response should have been to steer him into doing it for the right reasons (to blunt Chinese aggression and influence), not castigating him for not retreating and letting China do whatever they want just because it may benefit us financially.

You can’t demand unfettered free trade with China out of one side your mouth and then proclaim the vast, dangerous evils of China out of the other. That is a contradiction that can not be squared and Republicans should stop trying.

It’s good to see some are finally getting the message but they need to keep their eye on the ball going forward. China will be far, far more dangerous 20-30 years from now if we continue to heavily rely on them, passing mountains of cash in their direction along the way. It’s fair to say that I even part ways with the President on this matter. I don’t think we need a “better deal” with China (as Trump wants). I think we need to push American businesses to ween themselves off the communist teat completely. The long term gain and security will far outweigh the short term pain. China is not the only country on earth that can make cheap cloths and electronics, among other things.

In the end, the historic normalization of China was a mistake. I understand the purpose was to blunt the Soviet Union, but all we ended up doing was creating a monster. We’ve got precious little opportunity left to cut them down to size. Right now, the U.S. still holds tremendous financial leverage over them and we should use it.

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The post Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group chinese-flag-300x153 Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China United States theft The Bulwark Tariffs republicans Politics NBA National Review Morey Geo-Political Enemy Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade Featured Story dangerous corruption consistency conflict China Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Man Gets Harassed and Accused of Shoplifting Over the Suspicious Bulge in His Pants. He Keeps Insisting it’s His Penis

Westlake Legal Group thompson-submachine-gun-2878574_1280-620x268 Man Gets Harassed and Accused of Shoplifting Over the Suspicious Bulge in His Pants. He Keeps Insisting it’s His Penis Uncategorized theft stoke-on-trent steve whitehurst scott's menwear Not Today Internet jd sports Front Page Stories Featured Story False Accusation England Culture crime Allow Media Exception

 

 

Have you ever, like the A-Team, been accused of a crime you didn’t commit?

Such an ordeal happened to a window fitter Sunday in jolly ol’ England.

As reported by The Scottish Sun, Steve Whitehurst was minding his own business in Scott’s Menswear when he was confronted by the establishment’s female manager.

And why? According to Steve — who was shopping with his girlfriend and her grandson — she wanted him to explain the giant lump.

In his pants.

I’ll let the Sun do a bit of the heavy rolling…I mean, lifting:

Steve, who claims he often has to roll up his manhood, said, “I had very tight jeans on that day and there was a bulge, yes, but that’s not illegal. I can’t help the way I’m made.”

Apparently, the supervisor and other employees were skeptical of his huge claim. Was he being honest, or tellin’ a whopper?

“The manager started arguing with me. She wouldn’t let it go. I just kept telling her that it was my penis.”

Desperate times call for desperate…measures. And Steve was willing to go to great lengths.

“Eventually, I dropped my trousers in front of everyone and just stood there in my boxer shorts and said, ‘See, I’ve got nothing to hide.’”

But the manager still wouldn’t relent.

“What’s that bulge?!”

Finally, Steve had had enough, so he decided to prove he had too much.

He walked with a male security guard to a cubicle.

Steve revealed the truth to the staff by revealing the staff of truth.

He recounted:

“I dropped my boxers. [The security guard] shook his head and ran out and spoke with the manager. I heard her say, ‘Please tell me he’s got something down there,’ and the guy said, ‘No.’”

Oh — he’s got somethin’ down there alright.

But he didn’t appreciate having to prove it.

The 47-year-old called it the “craziest experience of [his] life.” He’s since complained to the chain’s owner, JD Sports.

His girlfriend, Mandy, thinks it’s nuts that the manager was such a dingaling:

“It was so humiliating. What they did to Steve was disgusting.”

However, JD Sports told the Sun the severely anatomically-correct shoplifting suspect was acting suspicious:

“The customer in question was exhibiting suspicious behaviour and, when the store manager confronted the customer, he became abusive.”

One shop worker thought Steve got quite teste– testy:

“When they cornered him, he became very abusive.”

And they weren’t impressed with his full disclosure:

“He then dropped his trousers, but the bulge was much smaller than staff remembered it.”

That’s a bit hard to believe — see for yourself here.

As one witness put it:

“Staff had good grounds to suspect him.”

Yes, they did.

I’m just thankful Beto O’Rourke was nowhere near — if he’d seen that Steve was carrying such a big gun, he’d probably have tried to grab it.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

An Elderly Man Walks Into The Hospital For A Bladder Procedure, Walks Out Circumcised – Accidentally

Best & Stupidest This Week: The UK Wars With Cutlery, Offers Knife-Free Chicken Boxes & Tales Of Murder For Dinner

Viral Video Provides A Lesson In Justice & Heroism – When Bullying Turns To Deep, Deep Regret

Find all my RedState work here.

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The post Man Gets Harassed and Accused of Shoplifting Over the Suspicious Bulge in His Pants. He Keeps Insisting it’s His Penis appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group thompson-submachine-gun-2878574_1280-300x130 Man Gets Harassed and Accused of Shoplifting Over the Suspicious Bulge in His Pants. He Keeps Insisting it’s His Penis Uncategorized theft stoke-on-trent steve whitehurst scott's menwear Not Today Internet jd sports Front Page Stories Featured Story False Accusation England Culture crime Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft

Westlake Legal Group nypd California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft theft The Blog robbery Retail decriminalization California

A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it. They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery. These plots are known as “mass grab and dash” thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway. Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down. Who could possibly have predicted this? (CBS Sacramento)

After searching police reports and arrest records, CBS13 found that while the rate of these grab and dash crimes is on the rise, the rate of arrest is down. We turned to law enforcement and the retail industry for answers. Both blame a California law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”

“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson, Vacaville PD.

He explained these crimes have evolved into more than just shoplifting. It’s organized retail theft and he says it’s happening across the state. Cities like Vacaville, with outlets and shopping centers located near major freeways, tend to be a target for these organized retail crime rings.

Nobody is seriously contesting the numbers. The local and state police organizations blame prop 47. FBI crime data supports the contention. Retail sales organizations have tracked this trend and agree.

This is a trend that’s been building in a number of blue states and now it seems that the petty crime chickens are coming home to roost. The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective. If you crack down on even smaller crimes, you lower crime rates overall.

Sadly, liberal elected officials paint a picture of racism and inequity behind effective law enforcement initiatives. The people committing these thefts frequently end up being young black and Hispanic robbers because they are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This leads to laws like prop 47 hoping to keep more of them out of the “school to prison pipeline.”

But when you make it easier and less risky to steal larger amounts of goods, people will steal more merchandise. Did it really take a rocket scientist to figure this out? California basically incentivized crime and potential criminals answered the call. And since many of them were only getting the equivalent of a parking ticket for stealing 900 dollars worth of goods, police frequently didn’t expend much energy trying to catch them.

The ball’s in your court, California. Do you plan on doing something about this? Or will you essentially just legalize theft and tell the retailers that they’re on their own?

The post California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group nypd-300x153 California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft theft The Blog robbery Retail decriminalization California   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

VIDEO: Police need to ID suspect after credit card thefts in Pohick Bay area



Police need help identifying a suspect they said has broken into a vehicle in Pohick Bay Regional Park, stolen credit cards, and used the cards hours later at Target in Prince William County, Virginia.

Fairfax County police released surveillance video of the suspect on Friday.

Several other thefts were reported in the Pohick Bay area on the same day, on July 14, and police believe they are related. Detectives have been following up on leads since then.

“Some cars were forcibly entered and with some of the doors unlocked,” county police Sgt. Greg Bedor said of the daytime thefts.

As a rule, Bedor recommends that people lock car doors and make sure valuables aren’t visible.

“If you have to store valuables in the car, we ask that you place them in the trunk and out of sight,” Bedor said. “If we can get folks to do that, we would be very happy, and we would have fewer of these reports and victims.”

Tipsters with the right information are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1000.

If you recognize the man or can help the investigation, detectives want you to call detective Henry at (703) 277-2488. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Solvers online, or by calling 1-866-411-8477, or by texting “FCCS” plus your information to 847411.

Source

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Wexner: Epstein made his money the old-fashioned way — he stole it

Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Epstein Wexner: Epstein made his money the old-fashioned way — he stole it theft The Blog sex trafficking scandal Leslie Wexner Jeffrey Epstein embezzlement

Mystery solved? Jeffrey Epstein built what appears to be a billion-dollar-or-more fortune as an investment manager for a small select clientele — except few people can remember Epstein doing the work necessary for it. How, people wondered, did Epstein go from a private-school teacher to billionaire pedophile weirdo in such a short period of time?

Leslie Wexner, Epstein’s first and only publicly identified client, has finally spoken publicly about their financial relationship. Wexner published an open letter accusing Epstein of “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him before Wexner cut ties after Epstein’s first arrest for sex-trafficking minors:

Leslie Wexner, the billionaire behind Victoria’s Secret, said his former money manager Jeffrey Epstein misappropriated more than $46 million of his fortune, revealing for the first time some of the financial fallout from his relationship with the disgraced financier.

In a letter Wednesday, the founder and chief executive of L Brands Inc., wrote to members of his Wexner Foundation that the missing funds were uncovered after Mr. Wexner decided in 2007 to sever ties with Mr. Epstein. Mr. Wexner began the separation process after allegations against Mr. Epstein surfaced involving sexual abuse of underage girls.

“We discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family,” Mr. Wexner wrote in the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now.”

In January 2008, Mr. Epstein transferred $46 million worth of investments to a Wexner charitable fund, tax records show. Mr. Wexner said the transfer was only a portion of the funds that his money manager had allegedly misappropriated. “All of that money—every dollar of it—was originally Wexner family money,” he wrote.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s calculations, the $46 million by itself would have been at least a quarter of all the money Epstein made off of Wexner. That figure was apparently some sort of settlement to unwind allegations of embezzlement as Epstein prepared to fight the Department of Justice over sex-trafficking charges. That might explain why Wexner apparently never filed a complaint over the “misappropriation.”

How many others got burned? It’s tough to say, as so far only Wexner has come forward about it. Although he’s been identified as sort of a Patient One for the building of Epstein’s fortune, Wexner claimed that other clients of Epstein personally vouched for him before Wexner opened up the books:

In the letter, Mr. Wexner explained why he gave Mr. Epstein so much control. He wrote that several friends “vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional.” He added that Mr. Epstein claimed he had many well-known clients.

That may be putting a spin on things, though. Their relationship raised eyebrows from its very inception among Wexner’s associates, noting that Epstein came out of nowhere and displaced friends with more connection to Wexner:

They were introduced by insurance executive Robert Meister, a mutual friend. Epstein, who was coming off a stint at Bear Stearns, pitched himself as a tax expert, and Wexner immediately began spending a lot of time with him — though it’s unclear if there was a formal financial arrangement between the two at the time.

Some associates of Wexner were baffled as to why the billionaire would become so enamored of someone who was such an unknown quantity. “I tried to find out how did he get from a high school math teacher to a private investment adviser,” Robert Morosky, the former vice chairman of The Limited, said. “There was just nothing there.” …

The Times quotes Jim Duberstein, a onetime friend of Wexner’s who had known him for years, as saying that shortly after the Wexner-Epstein bond took hold, Wexner took Epstein’s side over his in a disagreement — then cut him out of his life completely, in what appeared to be a pattern.

“Les Wexner, until the time he quit talking to me, was probably the finest person I ever met in my life,” Duberstein said. He was the most charitable, the most generous, the most understanding. I have nothing but praise for him — until he just cut his umbilical cord.”

NYMag’s Adam Raymond thinks this letter from Wexner solves at least part of the mystery behind Epstein’s vast fortune:

In the aftermath of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, one of the more confounding mysteries surrounded how the man made his money. Some suggested he engaged in an elaborate blackmail scheme, others thought he was a money launder. But it always seemed as if one man was in a particularly good place to know the truth.

For years, Leslie Wexner was the only publicly known client of Epstein’s money management firm. The CEO of L Brands, which controls stores such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, Wexner’s relationship with Epstein raised suspicion from its beginning in the mid ’80s.

Now, for the first time since Epstein’s arrest, Wexner has spoken out in some detail about the relationship and suggested a new theory for how Epstein got rich: He stole millions. In a letter to the Wexner Foundation, the 81-year-old Ohio billionaire wrote that Esptein “misappropriated vast sums of money from me,” stealing more than $46 million in their decade and a half working together.

Raymond’s not totally convinced, however, because Wexner’s lack of action after discovering Epstein’s reported embezzlement also doesn’t make much sense. “Why didn’t he call the cops?” Raymond wonders at the end. That’s a good question, but hardly the only good one from this tale. How did Epstein burrow so quickly into Wexner’s financial empire? How did he manage to do the same with other clients? Did he also steal from them as well — and if he did, why didn’t any of them raise the alarm? It’s tough to believe that Epstein would have only victimized his first and biggest client, after all.

This is just one secret in the Epstein case to finally emerge. Don’t expect it to be the last, or the worst.

The post Wexner: Epstein made his money the old-fashioned way — he stole it appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Epstein-300x159 Wexner: Epstein made his money the old-fashioned way — he stole it theft The Blog sex trafficking scandal Leslie Wexner Jeffrey Epstein embezzlement   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Incredible: Man Saves His Children From a Carjacker, But the Shocking Ending is Harrowing

Westlake Legal Group justice-2755765_1280-620x436 Incredible: Man Saves His Children From a Carjacker, But the Shocking Ending is Harrowing Violence Uncategorized theft scott small philadelphia police department philadelphia Pennsylvania parents Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture crime children Allow Media Exception

 

 

Wow. This is an incredible story.

According to cops (and WPVI), here’s what happened…

A 25-year-old man was working at a pizza delivery joint in Philadelphia Thursday when his same-aged girlfriend — and mother of his two kids — came in around 9 p.m.

She’d left her vehicle running with her three youngsters — a 7-month-old, an 18-month-old, and a 5-year-old (from a prior relationship) inside.

While the two spoke in the restaurant, a man carjacked the full-of-kids Hyundai.

The pair chased after the car, which got stuck in nearby traffic.

As per Scott Small, of the Philadelphia Police Department:

“They were able to pull this car thief out of the vehicle.”

The 54-year-old assailant subsequently took off on foot, but the boyfriend caught him and a fight ensued.

Back to Scott:

“Then other males from the neighbourhood intervened and began punching and kicking the male who took the vehicle.”

They beat the guy severely.

He was taken to a hospital with extreme damage to the head and face. At 10:05, he was pronounced dead.

The three children were unharmed and spent the night with relatives.

The tykes’ mom and dad were said to be cooperating with detectives.

It’s yet to be determined whether charges will be brought against the father.

What an intense and insane and terrible thing. It no doubt conjures strong convictions.

Thank God the children were unharmed and the crime was stopped. And kudos to a dad for doing whatever it took.

But as for the ending, what do you think? What feelings do you take away? Are you struck by thoughts of justice or of reckless, animalistic violence?

I look forward to hearing from you in the Comments section.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Florida Man Saves His Younger Son By Shooting His Older Son To Death

Snide Illinois Senator Tells Her Concerned Gun-Owning Constituent: Maybe I’ll Just Confiscate Your Guns

Mattel Eyes A Barbie Gay Wedding Playset

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. 

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The post Incredible: Man Saves His Children From a Carjacker, But the Shocking Ending is Harrowing appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group justice-2755765_1280-300x211 Incredible: Man Saves His Children From a Carjacker, But the Shocking Ending is Harrowing Violence Uncategorized theft scott small philadelphia police department philadelphia Pennsylvania parents Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture crime children Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

WATCH: Feminist Who Attempted to Steal Pro-Life Sign Wilts When Justice Finds Her

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-12-620x384 WATCH: Feminist Who Attempted to Steal Pro-Life Sign Wilts When Justice Finds Her theft Pro-Life pro-abortion police larceny Front Page Stories Feminism Featured Story Academia Abortion

Something about pro-lifers really causes the left to lose their minds and do things that any normal person would avoid. This too often includes violence, but also the theft of property in many cases. One woman on a college campus, however, found out that stealing is wrong the hard way.

During a pro-life demonstration at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill by the group Created Equal, a woman approached the pro-life group and after a few words, stole their sign. The woman then made her way to the side of a building where she attempted to throw it off, but was stopped before she could by the sign’s owner, Austin Beigel.

As this was happening, however, one of the pro-life crowd signaled a nearby police officer who witnessed most of what happened.

“Did you steal their sign?” asked the officer.

“I just moved it,” said the feminist.

The pro-lifers informed the officer that the feminist had ripped it out of their hands, and when the officer asked the feminist why she’d done that she smiled and tapped the sign.

“Because this restricts women’s rights,” she said.

The officer ordered the woman to give them the sign back before she damages it, after which time she attempted to leave the scene while commenting that she couldn’t believe that the officer was protecting the pro-lifers.

“Nope, you’re not going anywhere,” said the officer stepping in front of her path.

It was then that the feminist’s attitude began to deteriorate. The officer said she was being detained for larceny, despite the feminist’s arguments that the pro-lifers had their sign back. The officer said that only happened because he had gotten back from her.

“I moved it fifty yards,” she said.

“I don’t care if you moved it one foot,” responded the officer.

After spouting feminist propaganda about pro-lifers and complaining about having to see them on campus, the officer informed her that she needed to take her backpack off as she was being arrested for larceny. The tears began to flow as she tried to explain that she had every intent to give the sign back to the pro-lifers.

“Do we need to make this difficult and cause a scene?” asked the officer.

The feminist finally complied and she was led away.

In terms of what abortion supporters usually do to pro-lifers this is actually pretty light. Too many videos have come out recently that show pro-abortion advocates using violence against others.

At this very same University, a woman previously attacked pro-lifers with punches and kicks as they held a demonstration just last week. Last October, a video surfaced of a woman who was continuously attacked by a pro-abortion social justice advocate when she wasn’t looking. In that same month, a man roundhouse kicked a pro-life woman who had come to debate him.

And they say the right are the dangerous ones.

The post WATCH: Feminist Who Attempted to Steal Pro-Life Sign Wilts When Justice Finds Her appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-12-300x186 WATCH: Feminist Who Attempted to Steal Pro-Life Sign Wilts When Justice Finds Her theft Pro-Life pro-abortion police larceny Front Page Stories Feminism Featured Story Academia Abortion   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Avenatti accused of embezzling settlement money to buy a private jet

Westlake Legal Group avenatti-accused-of-embezzling-settlement-money-to-buy-a-private-jet Avenatti accused of embezzling settlement money to buy a private jet theft The Blog Michael Avenatti

Westlake Legal Group Avenatti-CNN Avenatti accused of embezzling settlement money to buy a private jet theft The Blog Michael Avenatti

Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti has been accused of embezzling nearly $2 million from a client so he could buy a share in a private jet. This was part of a 36-count indictment filed earlier this month, however, the details of this case weren’t revealed until the LA Times published a story Sunday.

The victims, in this case, were Miami Heat basketball player Hassan Whiteside and his ex-girlfriend Alexis Gardner. Gardner was apparently threatening to bring legal action against Whiteside. Acting as her attorney, Avenatti worked out a settlement deal in which Whiteside agreed to pay $3 million dollars to Gardner. Most of the money was paid up front but Gardner never found out about it:

Gardner’s settlement with Whiteside — Avenatti never gave her a copy — required the basketball player to pay her $2.75 million in January 2017, then the remaining $250,000 on Nov. 1, 2020, the indictment says.

Whiteside wired the $2.75 million on Jan. 25, 2017, to a client trust account at Eagan Avenatti. Rather than taking his fee of about $1 million, plus expenses, Avenatti kept all the money and misrepresented the settlement’s terms to Gardner, according to the indictment.

He told her the initial payment was entirely for attorney fees, and her money would be split into 96 monthly payments over the next eight years, prosecutors say…

Avenatti wound up making 11 payments to Gardner, misrepresenting them as Whiteside’s monthly installments, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. By the time the payments stopped in June 2018, Avenatti had given her about $194,000, prosecutors say.

For the next nine months, they allege, Avenatti deceived Gardner, telling her that Whiteside was breaching the settlement by skipping payments.

He just made all this up and lied about everything. So where did the money actually go? It went to a half share in a private jet:

The day after receiving the wire transfer from Whiteside, Avenatti shifted $2.5 million to a bank account of X-Law Group, the Echo Park firm of his close associate Filippo Marchino, bank records show.

At Avenatti’s instruction, according to prosecutors, Marchino immediately wired the $2.5 million to Honda Aircraft Co., LLC, for the purchase of Avenatti’s half share of a small HA-420 jet.

That’s the same private jet that was seized earlier this month in Santa Barbara. The co-owner of the jet is another former Avenatti client who has sued him.

The LA Times notes that this case is one of five instances in which Avenatti allegedly stole from his own clients. One of the other cases involved a paraplegic client who won a $4 million settlement but Avenatti never told him about the settlement and paid him just over $100,000. Avenatti also allegedly stole from Michelle Phan:

As always, Avenatti denies everything and claims he’ll be vindicated. I would post the tweet of him saying so but he recently protected all of his tweets. Sort of makes you wonder how an attorney this (allegedly) crooked wound up a household name. Oh, right:

The Washington Free Beacon analyzed 108 appearances by Avenatti on MSNBC and CNN over a 64-day period from March 7 to May 10. To calculate his earned media time, the Free Beacon multiplied the length of his appearances on a program by its “National Publicity Value” determination from media monitoring site TVEyes.com.

The total came out to $174,631,598.07 from at least 65 CNN appearances and 43 MSNBC appearances. Avenatti’s favorite shows include CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” (at least 20 interviews), MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (14), CNN’s “New Day” (12), CNN’s “Tonight with Don Lemon” (eight), and MSNBC’s “Deadline White House” (seven).

CNN and MSNBC gave him so much air time they almost made him a Democratic candidate for president.

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The new Dallas County DA doesn’t seem to like prosecuting people

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Dallas County in Texas has a new District Attorney this year and he’s really making a name for himself. John Creuzot is blazing a rather different trail than other district attorneys, however. Rather than putting away the bad guys and keeping the public safe, Creuzot has been busy laying out all of the crimes that he won’t be prosecuting anyone over. It’s all in the name of not “criminalizing poverty,” as the DA puts it. But a lot of business owners aren’t exactly welcoming the news. (Fox 4 News)

Dallas County’s new district attorney announced his office will no longer prosecute “theft of necessary items” up to $750. The announcement drew an immediate reaction from small business owners who are worried that word of the policy will encourage shoplifting.

While the Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot tried to clarify his new policy on Friday, some business owners are worried about what the DA’s new policy will mean for them.

Cody Ellison and his business partner own three shops in the Bishop Arts District. The DA’s letter to the people of Dallas County does not sit well with him.

“To have the thought of someone being able to come in and steal $750 from us and there be no consequence is unfathomable to me,” Ellison said.

So you can now feel free to steal up to 750 bucks worth of goods provided they are “essential items?” The DA is citing examples such as food and baby formula, but $750 dollars in most grocery stores would fill up quite a few carts. Of course, that “clarification” of what he meant came as part of a hurried walk back after the obvious objections were raised. Why would people even hesitate to start robbing the Wegmans if they know they won’t be prosecuted for it? And what do you tell the business owners who have to cover those losses on their bottom line?

This isn’t Creuzot’s first “reform” plan since being elected. He previously announced that didn’t want the police arresting the mentally ill for disorderly conduct or potentially threatening behavior. I’m sure his intentions are good, but law enforcement is asking what else they’re supposed to do when the shelters are full and there’s no place else to send them.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said patrol officers have few options when it comes to the mentally ill and there are a large number of such people on the streets.

“He’s exactly right when he said we do go to shelters and they’re full and he said we should leave them there. Well, we can’t leave them there. We took them into custody we can’t just drop them off on the street. So, if the shelters can’t take them and the county isn’t going to take them, what are we going to do with them?” Mata said.

The DA has a laundry list of other crimes he doesn’t want to see people arrested or prosecuted for. These include Criminal Trespass, Driving while license invalid (DWLI), Probation violations and first-time marijuana possession.

Not for nothing, but isn’t criminal justice reform supposed to be a matter for the legislature to handle? The DA is supposed to enforce the laws as they are, not as he wishes them to be.

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