As attorney Michael Avenatti continues his high-profile career — currently in the news for representing young women in sexual abuse allegations against singer R. Kelly — another, much more low-profile lawsuit was filed against him on July 11 in Santa Barbara Superior Court. The new case involves the small jet confiscated at Santa Barbara airport in April, which belonged not only to Avenatti but also his former client William Parrish and the company that insured it.
Avenatti had purchased the jet in 2017 with Parrish, who at the time was pursuing a case against FLIR through Avenatti. According to the most recent suit, the jet cost more than $4.3 million with Parrish having a 52.7 percent ownership interest. The FLIR case led to further court filings by the clients against their attorney for fraud.
The new case pits Parrish against the company insuring the Honda HA-420 jet, including against seizure. His complaint claims the company, Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, must make good on the $10 million coverage he maintained on the jet as Parrish has been deprived of its use, possession, and value after federal agents flew it to Chino Airport on April 11. According to the complaint, Starr Indemnity is holding off paying Parrish as the seizure may be connected to Avenatti’s pending charges of tax, wire, and bankruptcy fraud in the Central District Court. Parrish’s lawyers say that while the policy was in effect, Avenatti was out of the picture.