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Thu Feb 21, 2019, 04:49 PM

 

Avenatti FINALLY Going To Be Responsible For Someone Going To Prison?

Well, we now know where Avenatti got those Suspicious Activity Reports from the US Treasury FINCEN system, which he disclosed during the Cohen proceedings in New York.

The SDNY prosecutors and Mueller's office, of course, had direct access to all Treasury records and bank records relating to Cohen long before Avenatti published the ones he did. There will also, of course, be folks who don't realize that this was just another grandstanding move by Avenatti to draw attention to himself, and who will instead believe that because the prosecutors and Mueller don't release their findings on Twitter that Avenatti is somehow the "cause" of the Cohen prosecution.

The good news is that Avenatti did not get them due to any leak from the USAO-SDNY or Mueller's office.

The bad news is that Avenatti took advantage of an IRS analyst who is now going to pay the price for it.

Is Avenatti going to arrange this guy's defense? Unlikely, now that Avenatti's access to funds has been severely limited by the recent receivership placed over several of his income streams he had been hiding from the bankruptcy court.

The summons is here:

http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2019/images/02/21/fry.complaint.and.summons.pdf

Of note:

11. Immediately after downloading the five SARs, John FRY placed two outgoing calls from his personal cellphone to (***) ***-4118. The first phone call at 3:11 p.m. lasted approximately four minutes. The second phone call at 3:15 p.m. lasted approximately seven and a half minutes. A records check revealed that the phone number was associated wih Michael Avenatti, an attorney based in Newport Beach, California.

So, Avenatti basically set this poor schmuck up.

CNN coverage here:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/21/politics/michael-cohen-tax-returns/index.html

16 replies, 1719 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Avenatti FINALLY Going To Be Responsible For Someone Going To Prison? (Original post)
jberryhill Feb 2019 OP
Dennis Donovan Feb 2019 #1
WheelWalker Feb 2019 #2
lame54 Feb 2019 #13
still_one Feb 2019 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2019 #4
jberryhill Feb 2019 #5
Hoyt Feb 2019 #6
WeekiWater Feb 2019 #7
jberryhill Feb 2019 #8
mr_lebowski Feb 2019 #9
jberryhill Feb 2019 #10
LanternWaste Feb 2019 #11
jberryhill Feb 2019 #12
mr_lebowski Feb 2019 #15
jberryhill Feb 2019 #16
LuvLoogie Feb 2019 #14

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 04:52 PM

1. Thank you for the Avenatti update

He whiffs badly to my nose. (but what the fuck do I know)...

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 04:55 PM

2. Haven't heard much lately from either Avenatti or Gulliani.

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Response to WheelWalker (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 06:00 PM

13. They've become the new power couple...

Gullinatti

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 04:56 PM

3. No surprise here. Never liked from the start, he was to much of a self promoter

and it’s the Avenatti’s that unfairly give a bad name to Attorneys

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 04:59 PM

4. But he would have been such a great candidate for president

because he got under Trump's skin!

Any chance Avenatti could be charged with some kind of conspiracy to leak the SARs along with the IRS guy?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:05 PM

5. I don't know

 

According to the summons, the IRS employee confessed back in November 2018, so one question is why this has remained sealed so long. Presumably, he is about to enter a formal plea, but one wonders what has been going on all this time.

There's no information in the summons about how this thing got started, or why Fry had Avenatti's now-guessable cell phone number.

This is what FINCEN says, at least:

https://www.fincen.gov/resources/statutes-regulations/guidance/unauthorized-disclosure-suspicious-activity-reports

The unauthorized disclosure of Suspicious Activity Reports is not only a violation of federal criminal law, but it undermines the very purpose for which the suspicious activity reporting system was created - the protection of our financial system through the prevention, detection, and prosecution of financial crimes and terrorist financing. The unauthorized disclosure of Suspicious Activity Reports can compromise the national security of the United States as well as threaten the safety and security of those institutions and individuals who file such reports. The Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group is committed to continuing to work with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the federal functional regulatory agencies, law enforcement, and the financial services industry to ensure that the information contained in Suspicious Activity Reports is safeguarded, and that anyone who makes an intentional, unauthorized disclosure of a Suspicious Activity Report is brought to justice, whether that person is inside or outside of the Government.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:18 PM

6. Three months ago and his photo would have been in the Democratic Primary Group. :)

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:20 PM

7. Is it known what charges this person will face?

 

Are they charges that have a conspiracy charge option. I'm not all that familiar with the law. It is my understanding that many charges can have conspiracy charges attached to individuals, some cannot. Sorry for my ignorance in the area.

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Response to WeekiWater (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:26 PM

8. Yes

 


If you read the summons, it refers to 31 USC 5322(a), which is the penalty provision for violating the regulation against unauthorized release of SARs:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/5322

(a) A person willfully violating this subchapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this subchapter (except section 5315 or 5324 of this title or a regulation prescribed under section 5315 or 5324), or willfully violating a regulation prescribed under section 21 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act or section 123 of Public Law 91–508, shall be fined not more than $250,000, or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

But, you will notice that the person confessed back in November 2018.

So, it leaves open the question of why this has remained sealed all that time, since the defendant certainly knew about the charge.

You will also recall that during Avenatti's attempt to bring his circus act to the proceedings in the SDNY, Avenatti told that court, among other things, "Mr. Cohen has presented no evidence that I ever had access to any suspicious activity reports relating to Mr. Cohen."

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:28 PM

9. Lotta suppositions there JBH ...

How do you know Fry isn't just a Patriot who contacted Avenatti because he knew of the SAR, and knew of Avenatti, and wanted the info out there?

How would Avenatti have FOUND someone at the IRS who not only knew of the info (when Avenatti wouldn't have known of it), but would ALSO be willing to give it to him?

Think about it.

You're awfully inclined make him the dick in this story, based on ... NOTHING, really.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:44 PM

10. Those are pretty much no brainers....

 

You should probably read the summons. First off, Fry confessed back in November.

On question 1: Fry does the searches and immediately calls Avenatti. Read paragraph 11.

Fry did not "have the information" and then contact Avenatti. He got the information and called Avenatti upon retrieving it. He had Avenatti's cell phone number BEFORE he had the SARs.

On question 2: That's not too hard. Anyone who has been to law school and practiced law for a while knows all kinds of people in all kinds of regulatory agencies. These are people one regularly comes into contact in the course of doing ordinary legal work. Asking "how" is kind of beside the point, since there is no question, again if you read the summons, that he did find such a person.

Furthermore, it is not a matter of someone who "knew of the info". There are literally thousands of employees in agencies of the Treasury Department who can access SARs. Avenatti, and the entire world, was certainly aware that Cohen had wired $130k to Davidson, and that would trigger a SAR. That, again, is an ordinary part of law practice. Lawyers regularly handle large payments for settlements, escrow, and a bunch of other reasons. Once in a while the bank will call to ask whether the lawyer knows what the transaction is for, who are the parties, etc.. Within the limits of client confidentiality, you answer those questions.

So there is no mystery that there would have been a SAR generated in association with the Daniels payment, since it was over $10,000. Avenatti figured there were more potential payoffs and found himself a dupe willing to look them up.

Returning to the significance of "Fry confessed back in November." This matter was known about to the investigators and Fry since November 2018. It was filed under seal on February 4. Since Fry already knew about it, then who do you suppose the under seal filing was to keep it from being known?

And, finally, Cohen was under criminal investigation by prosecutors who had access to all of the SARs, his banking records, and much more. I don't know too many "patriots" who seek to interfere with criminal investigations by feeding the ego of self-serving narcissists.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:56 PM

11. Great prophecy!

I give tea leaves more credibility, but to each their own justifications and rationalizations.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 05:58 PM

12. What is the prophecy?

 

There's no future prediction in there. I gather you have not read the Fry summons either.

It's so nice to have you back. DU is such a lonely place without you.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 06:45 PM

15. So the argument is that of the 2, only Avenatti could've sussed that a SAR would've existed ...

Prior to Fry physically looking it up.

And that therefore Avenatti MUST have 'found Fry' and not the other way around.

Got it.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 07:04 PM

16. The summons makes it pretty clear

 


...that Fry accessed the data and immediately called Avenatti.

I'm really not sure I follow what you are saying. The guy had Avenatti's personal telephone number. So, before looking up the reports, there would have had to have been some contact between the two.

Could this guy have sought Avenatti out and said, "Hey, would you like me to commit a federal crime and give you the data proceeding from that crime?" and Avenatti said, "Wow, hey, thanks, what a great idea! Let me give you my cell phone number."

Sure, it could have happened that way. But I don't see how that makes the dynamics of the situation materially different, since Avenatti still knows that this poor schmuck is going to use a heavily-audited system in order to commit a crime so that Avenatti can do nothing other than glorify himself. Because, again, none of this information would have been unknown to the prosecutors going after Cohen.

In all likelihood, the investigators also know, because Fry confessed and cooperated, exactly how this went down. The only question is why file it under seal, since Fry confessed?

What difference does it make who contacted whom? It is clear that the two of them were in contact with each other before Fry looked up the information and called Avenatti's cell phone number (none of Avenatti's office numbers end in 4118).

It is also pretty obvious that Fry would have known what he was doing was a violation of regulations, so one wonders what the prior communications between Avenatti and Fry on that subject might have been.

But in any scenario, you have to deal with the facts that (a) Fry looks up the data, and (b) immediately calls Avenatti's cell phone. If Fry had contacted Avenatti out of the blue ahead of time, then I don't see what difference it makes in terms of Avenatti's state of knowledge at the time the crime was committed.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2019, 06:05 PM

14. I remain skeptical of Mr. Avenatti...

I probably won't vote for him for president.

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