CNN dug up a pretty crazy episode in the past of Michael Avenatti, Porny Daniels’ lawyer, that showed some very shady shenanigans on his part.
— Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) June 1, 2018
Here’s basically how it went:
Avenatti gets sued for millions by a past partner.
Two days before deposition in arbitration with the prior partner, Avenatti goes BANKRUPT because of a filing by a weird Florida Man…
This saved Avenatti in the prior lawsuit:
The involuntary bankruptcy filing by the Florida man, Gerald Tobin, was a rare and obscure legal maneuver that had the effect of freezing the arbitration proceedings with the former partner. The result was that Avenatti avoided being questioned under oath in the proceeding.
The whole thing, the judge said, “had the stench of impropriety.” That didn’t have anything to do with Avenatti’s firm, necessarily, she said. She referred to Tobin as a “screwy small creditor,” and questioned whether he had “some relationship with the firm that would have induced a collusive filing” or if Avenatti’s firm “just got plain lucky that somebody filed on the eve of arbitration.”
In court papers, Avenatti’s lawyers described Tobin as a “private investigator” who’d performed undisclosed services for Avenatti’s firm.
But Tobin, 48, is no private investigator, a CNN investigation found.
Here’s who Tobin is:
He’s a convicted felon whose rap sheet is 15 pages long and spans four decades, according to court records. He served time in prison in the early 90s and was arrested on domestic violence charges as recently as February. (He pleaded not guilty and the case is awaiting trial).
The implication here is that this was planned between the Florida guy and Avenatti in order to help the lawyer avoid the prior lawsuit.
In a brief interview with CNN outside his Orlando home, Tobin declined to say what sort of work he’d performed for Avenatti, but described it as “very mundane.”
He said he was not a private investigator, and that it would be a stretch to describe the work he did as investigative in nature. But he said he could not discuss details of the matter because of the terms of his agreement with Avenatti’s firm.
“My confidentiality is fairly extensive,” he said in a phone interview a day later. “I’m not at liberation to talk about that.”
In paper work he filled out following the 2018 arrest for domestic violence, Tobin listed his highest level of education as a high school general equivalency diploma. He listed his job as “laborer” at an Orlando sheet metal shop. In the space on the form for previous employment, he wrote: “Don’t remember.”
Wow. Does this prove anything? Not really. But it’s another example of how Avenatti appears to be a less than savory character in this already ridiculously salacious story…
UPDATE – here’s CNN’s video report: