Michael Avenatti allegedly embezzled $2.5 million to pay for a share of a private jet from a settlement he negotiated for the former girlfriend of Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside and Gardner agreed to a $3 million settlement to reflect, in their words, “[Gardner’s] investment of time and support over a number of years as Hassan pursued a career in the NBA.”
The plan was for Whiteside to pay $2.75 million later that month, and for the final $250,000 to come in 2020. Avenatti's fee was supposed to be approximately $1 million.
Avenatti hid the scheme by never giving Gardner a copy of the settlement. Avenatti paid Gardner a total of $194,000 over 11 months and then lied about Whiteside not holding up his end of the agreement.