Former attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday for stealing from his client, actress, and filmmaker Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors accused Michael Avenatti of defrauding Daniels of a $300,000 advance for her 2018 book, Full Disclosure. According to various reports, Avenatti rose to national prominence after representing Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit seeking to free her from a $130,000 payment allegedly made by representatives of President Donald Trump, who allegedly wanted her to keep the details of a relationship she had with the business tycoon turned politician hidden.
Michael Avenatti was found guilty of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory 2-year prison term. He is presently serving a two-and-a-half-year term for extorting Nike Inc. He will also face a retrial in California on charges that he fraudulently obtained millions of dollars from a variety of individuals, including former customers.
Everything you need to know about Michael Avenatti
Michael Avenatti was an outspoken celebrity lawyer, media personality, and professional racecar driver from Sacramento, California until it was exposed that he had defrauded multiple individuals. According to his Politicon speaker biography, he had a significant presence in the broadcast and print media as an experienced commentator on legal topics. He has also represented a number of high-profile individuals, gaining special notice for his claims against the National Football League (NFL) and Donald Trump.
Despite several accusations filed against him in the past, including claims of domestic abuse and misbehavior, Avenatti climbed to such notoriety that he declared interest in running for President in the 2020 elections 2018. Avenatti, on the other hand, fell from prominence in 2019 when a slew of allegations was brought against him, including wire fraud, embezzlement, and extortion.
What happened to Stormy Daniels?
According to CBS, Michael Avenatti was originally charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on May 22, 2019, for allegedly taking $300,000 from Stormy Daniels. According to Federal Judge Jesse Furman, Michael Avenatti was forced to do so because his legal practice was failing and the theft was an effort to keep it afloat. Daniels had hired Michael Avenatti to negotiate her book contract, but the former attorney stole the money meant for her. Michael Avenatti, according to sources, represented himself during the trial. Prosecutors highlighted the discredited attorney’s hostile demeanor in court with his former client.
I think it’s past time for me to concede that Michael Avenatti has more notable verdicts and courtroom results than I do recently. pic.twitter.com/5zwPC7kGpj
— OnlineDefamationExpertHat (@Popehat) June 2, 2022
According to prosecutors:
“(Avenatti) chastised his victim for using lewd language and being a difficult client, questioned her invasively about marital and familial problems, and sought to portray her as insane, much as he did during the course of his fraud to prevent her own agent and publisher from responding to her pleas for help.”
Despite this, Avenatti was not successful, according to the New York Post, as a federal court sentenced him to four years in jail for stealing Daniels’ advances. Avenatti will spend a portion of his sentence simultaneously with his time in prison for the Nike extortion case. However, he was sentenced to an extra 30 months in prison.
Following the ruling, Avenatti stated:
“I’ve embarrassed and ridiculed myself as well as innocent third parties, including my family, children, friends, and the legal profession.”
He went on:
“I have ruined my job, connections, and reputation, as well as causing collateral harm to my family and life.” I’m not sure how or if I’ll ever be able to live a regular life or find peace.”
Prosecutors, on the other hand, were dubious of Avenatti’s apologies.
“The defendant had every right to defend himself in court.” But he is not entitled to a benefit for expressing regret, having done so only when it was convenient, and only after seeking to humiliate his victim in a public trial, and denigrating and insulting her for months to her agent and publisher while holding himself out as taking up her cause against the powerful who might have taken advantage of her.”
Daniels had previously testified that the 51-year-old California attorney had “betrayed” her.