By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the federal Orange County embezzlement trial of disgraced celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti.

FILE — Michael Avenatti arrives to federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., on July 20, 2021. (Getty Images)

The mistrial was granted on technical grounds, with U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ruling that federal prosecutors failed to turn over relevant financial evidence to Avenatti.

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Selna said he did not find any evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of prosecutors, essentially determining the failure to disclose the data was tantamount to an oversight.

Another hearing in the case was set for Sept. 2, and Selna scheduled a tentative new trial date for Oct. 12.

Avenatti is charged with ripping off at least five clients of nearly $10 million in settlement funds between January 2015 and March 2019.

Last month, Avenatti was sentenced to 30 months in prison for attempting to extort about $25 million from Nike, in a case that was tried in New York.

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Avenatti, who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, has consistently maintained that the government failed in its accounting of his expenses and that he did nothing wrong.

He won the right on the eve of trial to represent himself in the case. Attorney Dean Steward assisted him as a co-counsel on the case.

Avenatti is only being tried on a portion of the charges he faces.

In California, Avenatti is charged in a 36-count indictment with 10 counts each of wire fraud and failing to file tax returns, eight counts of willful failure to collect and pay over-withheld taxes, two counts of bank fraud, three counts of a false declaration in bankruptcy and one count each aggravated identity theft and providing false testimony under oath in bankruptcy.

But he is on trial now on just the 10 counts of wire fraud, with the rest of the case to be tried at a later date.

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