by Peter Hasson, The Daily Caller:
- Michael Avenatti owes Dillanos Coffee $110,000 for unpaid bills, the company’s CEO claims.
- Records reviewed by TheDCNF show a series of bounced checks from Avenatti’s company to Dillanos.
- Avenatti denied owing anything to Dillanos, but records reviewed by TheDCNF appear to undermine parts of his story.
Left-wing attorney and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Avenatti is again facing accusations of unpaid debts, this time from the owner of the Washington state-based company Dillanos Coffee.
Avenatti owes Dillanos $110,000 and has refused to pay up, according to Dillanos founder and CEO David Morris.
Avenatti has repeatedly denied owing Dillanos anything, but bank records and other related documents Dillanos’ attorney provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation appear to undermine what Avenatti previously said about the dispute.
Morris first said on May 9 that Avenatti owed him $160,000 for unpaid debts related to Avenatti’s ownership and management of Tully’s Coffee, a financially insecure Seattle coffee chain that shuttered all of its locations earlier this year.
Avenatti’s company used Dillanos as a coffee supplier, but failed to pay its bills, Morris said at the time.
Avenatti transferred $50,000 to Dillanos the same day, bank records reviewed by TheDCNF show. Morris claims Avenatti still owes Dillanos the remaining $110,000.
TheDCNF reviewed a screenshot of a successful June 15 wire transfer of $110,000. Dillanos’ attorney said Avenatti sent the screenshot as evidence of payment, but documents reviewed by TheDCNF showed that the money never reached Dillanos’ bank account.
The Dillanos attorney informed Avenatti on July 30 that the six-figure payment he guaranteed never came through, those documents show.
Five months of bank statements reviewed by TheDCNF show that after the May 10 payment and through the end of September, the most recent month available, Dillanos did not receive any wire transfers from Avenatti, much less the $110,000 supposed to arrive on June 15.
Other documents reviewed by TheDCNF show that Global Baristas US LLC, Tully’s parent company under Avenatti, bounced five checks written out to Dillanos between August 2017 and January 2018. The five bounced checks added up to approximately $150,000.
Washington state records reviewed by TheDCNF show that Global Baristas US LLC is controlled by the similarly named Global Baristas LLC, which in turn is still controlled by Avenatti.
“We have still not received $110,161 of the balance that @michaelavenatti owes us. So for all the extra work our staff has done while dealing with Michael & Tully’s, we will give half the money to our 80 employees if he pays,” Morris wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Who thinks he should make good on his commitment?”
Morris declined to comment beyond what he wrote on social media.
The attorney told TheDCNF in a text message that the debt “was paid long ago by the company, which I no longer own and have no responsibility for.”
He declined to answer follow-up questions on why he made the $50,000 payment to Dillanos in July after previously denying owing anything to the coffee company.
Avenatti added: “David Morris is a fraud who defrauded money from Tully’s employees and is liable to them and their families for hundreds of thousands of dollars.” He did not provide any additional details to TheDCNF upon request.
Avenatti first purchased Tully’s in 2013 after going into business with actor Patrick Dempsey. The pair purchased the coffee chain through Global Baristas LLC, closing the deal on June 30, 2013.
Dempsey sued Avenatti less than two months later.
“My decision to become a member and manager of Global Baristas was based, in part, on Michael Avenatti’s representation that he would provide both the capital to fund the entire Tully’s acquisition and sufficient working capital to allow Global Baristas to operate the Tully’s Coffee stores once the acquisition was completed,” Dempsey said in an Aug. 20, 2013, affidavit.
“Michael Avenatti never notified me that he intended to have or caused Global Baristas to borrow $2,000,000 for working capital, nor did he notify me that he planned to have or caused the company to pledge substantially all, if not all, of its assets to secure any loan,” Dempsey said.