A federal choose in New York on Thursday sentenced disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti to 4 years in jail for stealing cash owed to his former shopper, onetime grownup movie actor Stormy Daniels, for writing an explosive 2018 e-book.
U.S. District Court docket Decide Jesse Furman referred to as the defendant’s theft from Daniels “craven and egregious” and stated he was fueled by “blind ambition.”
The protection had proposed that Avenatti be sentenced to a few years in jail, whereas prosecutors had sought 4 years behind bars.
U.S. Lawyer Damian Williams stated Avenatti is rightfully paying a “substantial” worth for his “brazen crimes.”
“Legal professionals have an obligation to be loyal and advocates for his or her purchasers. Removed from being a loyal advocate for his shopper, Michael Avenatti stole his shopper’s identification and her cash to be able to line his personal pockets,” Williams stated in an announcement.
“Now, Avenatti will serve a considerable jail sentence for his brazen crimes and betrayal of his shopper.”
In February, Avenatti was convicted of wire fraud and identification theft for pocketing about $300,000 of the $800,000 advance that Daniels was paid for her e-book, “Full Disclosure,” which included particulars about an alleged affair she had with Donald Trump earlier than he was president.
He acted as his personal lawyer within the trial, resulting in unorthodox scenes of the defendant cross-examining the victim, Daniels.
Avenatti apologized for his actions, however denied that he solely took on Daniels as his shopper out of self-interest.
As he addressed the court docket in Decrease Manhattan, a shackled Avenatti was wearing a jail uniform after Furman denied his request to put on a swimsuit.
“Nobody else had the center to take her case,” Avenatti instructed the court docket. “I believed we may take down a sitting U.S. president who was the largest menace to our democracy in trendy instances.”
Avenatti is already in custody, following his 2020 conviction for extortion, transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort and wire fraud in reference to threats he made towards the sports activities gear big Nike.
He was sentenced to 2½ years behind bars for these crimes. The previous lawyer must serve one other 2½ years in custody, for the Daniels matter, as soon as that Nike time is completed.
Avenatti was as soon as one in every of cable tv’s most prolific pundits, commonly showing on information reveals to talk for Daniels and criticize then-President Trump, who was accused of paying hush cash to the previous actor.
The Related Press and Reuters contributed.