Attorneys for Michael Avenatti have requested he be sentenced to no more than six months in prison and one year of home confinement for his attempt to extort $25 million from sportswear company Nike.
The Associated Press reported that Avenatti’s attorneys say the former high-profile attorney has suffered enough after spending three months in jail and facing public ridicule for his “cataclysmic fall.” The outlet noted that Avenatti faces 11 to 14 years in prison after he was convicted by a jury of extortion.
The attorneys added that Avenatti could never repeat the crime since he is now barred from practicing law.
“Avenatti’s epic fall and public shaming has played out in front of the entire world. The Court may take judicial notice of this fact, as Avenatti’s cataclysmic fall has been well-documented. He is openly mocked by the former President of the United States and his preferred media outlets, to the glee of millions of the former President’s followers and supporters,” his attorneys wrote.
“He cannot go anywhere in public without inducing and subjecting himself to vitriolic comments and abuse. These circumstances alone would deter anyone in Avenatti’s shoes from engaging in similar conduct,” they added.
Avenatti rose to fame for representing porn star Stormy Daniels as she accused former President Donald Trump of paying her to keep their affair quiet during his 2016 presidential campaign. Left-wing media outlets, including CNN and MSNBC, repeatedly hosted Avenatti to denounce Trump. At one point, Avenatti even flirted with running for president himself, to the cheers of media personalities.
In 2019, however, all that came crashing down when Avenatti was accused of trying to extort Nike. A federal grand jury indicted him on 36 counts, including embezzlement, fraud, and perjury, The Daily Wire previously reported. The charges stemmed from not only Avenatti’s attempted extortion of Nike, but also his dealings with previous clients, including Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, who is mentally ill and a paraplegic. Johnson won a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles County, but Avenatti hid the money from him for years. He allegedly also hid $2.75 million from another client. The day after he received that money, he allegedly purchased a $2.5 million private jet for a company he owned. The jet was seized by federal agents. He also was accused of stealing Daniels’ book advance
Avenatti and his various businesses also owed millions in back taxes, and his Newport Beach law firm was reaching bankruptcy.
Those were some of the charges in California. In New York, Avenatti was charged with attempting to extort Nike. Avenatti was found guilty for telling Nike attorneys that he would “take 10 billion dollars off your client’s market cap” if they didn’t pay him and a client $20 million. Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference to publicly accuse Nike of a scandal involving high school and college basketball teams. On March 25, 2019, Avenatti announced he would hold the press conference the following day. That same day, the Southern District of New York announced charges against the attorney for extortion.
Avenatti was found guilty in February 2020.
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