Associated Press/Photo by Julio Cortez

Celeb lawyer Avenatti faces slew of charges

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/11/19, 02:06 pm

Federal prosecutors in California said Thursday they had indicted attorney Michael Avenatti on 36 counts of stealing millions of dollars from clients, tax evasion, bank fraud, and lying during bankruptcy proceedings. Avenatti, 48, was arrested last month in New York on unrelated allegations he tried to shake down Nike for up to $25 million.

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Associated Press/Photo by Leslie Westbrook/The Advocate

Louisiana church arson suspect arrested

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/11/19, 12:45 pm

Authorities in Louisiana have arrested a man suspected of burning down three rural African American churches in the state. Holden Matthews, a 21-year-old white man, faces three state charges of simple arson of a religious building. Federal investigators are looking into whether race motived the crimes. The first fire burned St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, La., last month. Days later, the Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, La., were set ablaze. Each was more than 100 years old.

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Associated Press/Photo by Carrie Antlfinger

Missing boy hoax was not the suspect’s first

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 4/05/19, 12:47 pm

A man who falsely claimed to be an Illinois boy who disappeared six years ago was arrested in Cincinnati on Thursday. Brian Rini, 23, claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing in 2011 at the age of 6. Rini has falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim twice before, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court on Friday. The FBI declared Rini’s story a hoax on Thursday based on DNA testing a day after he told authorities in Newport, Ky., that he was Pitzen. The affidavit said there is enough evidence to charge Rini with lying to federal authorities.

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