Michael Avenatti sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for extortion News about corruption


The lawyer was convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from the American company Nike “to push his own agenda.”

Michael Avenatti, the cheeky lawyer who gained fame for porn actress Stormy Daniels lawsuits against Donald Trump before a whirlwind of criminal charges ended his legal career, he was sentenced Thursday to 2-1 / 2 years in prison for attempting to extort Nike.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan said Avenatti, 50, “had been drunk with the power of his platform” in betraying his client, a youth basketball coach, for his own benefit.

“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous, “Gardephe said.” He hijacked his client’s claims and used them to promote his own agenda, which was to extort millions of dollars from Nike for himself. “

The sentence ended in a hasty fall for a once-obscure lawyer who in 2018 became a cable news device, disparaging then-President Trump and even flirting with a White House leader.

Those political aspirations evaporated when California and New York prosecutors accused Avenatti of fraud in March 2019. California prosecutors said he enjoyed a $ 200,000 a month lifestyle while cheating customers for millions of dollars. dollars and did not pay hundreds of thousands in the Interior. Revenue service.

Charges according to which he deceived Daniels with the proceeds of a book deal followed weeks later. Avenatti pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Nike lawyers said Michael Avenatti did considerable damage to the company by falsely trying to link it to a scandal in which bribes were paid to the families of NBA-linked college basketball players to target them in big programs. abast [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

The recordings showed Avenatti telling Nike’s lawyers to “throw the lid off” the sportswear company and wipe out $ 10 billion from its market value unless it bowed to its lawsuits.

Prosecutors said Avenatti had a large payday to cover its own debts. Nike has denied the wrongdoings.

Avenatti was also convicted of fooling coach Gary Franklin into not telling him he wouldn’t settle unless there was an investigation.

Franklin had been upset that Nike stopped sponsoring his program and said he simply wanted to re-establish their relationship. He said Avenatti had “destroyed my reputation” in his community.

Before being sentenced, Avenatti lost his temper as he admitted to having “lost his way” and apologized to Franklin and others.

“TV and Twitter, your honor, don’t mean anything,” Avenatti told the judge. “Everyone wants to go in a limousine with you, but very few are willing to sit next to you on the bus. Even less, your honor, they are willing to receive your calls from prison.

“Me and I alone have destroyed my career, my relationships, my life,” he added.

Michael Avenatti portrayed adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against former President Donald Trump [File: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

Prosecutors sought a “very substantial” sentence, citing the U.S. Probation Department’s recommendation on an eight-year prison sentence. Avenatti’s lawyers said six months in prison and one year in house arrest were enough punishment.

In an impact statement on the victims, Nike’s lawyers said Avenatti did considerable damage to the company by trying to falsely link it to a scandal in which bribes were paid to the families of college basketball players linked to the NBA to direct them to powerful programs. An Adidas employee, a Nike competitor, was convicted in that charge.

Lawyers said Avenatti threatened to do billions of dollars in damage to Nike and then made a fake tweet that criminal behavior at Nike reached “highest levels.”

In their pre-sentencing presentation, Avenatti’s lawyers said his client had suffered enough, citing a huge public embarrassment and a difficult prison term last year that ended after lawyers said he was particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

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