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Michael Avenatti age, wife nike disbarred micheal lawyer president

Michael Avenatti age, wife nike disbarred micheal lawyer president
Michael Avenatti got a lot of attention for being an anti-Trump figure, but he has also been in trouble with the law.
Avenatti gets four years in prison for stealing $300,000 from Stormy Daniels.

A Manhattan judge said that Mr. Avenatti, who was found guilty of taking payments for himself and is already in jail for another crime, "breached the highest duty a lawyer owes to a client."

In 2018, Michael Avenatti was mostly unknown outside of Los Angeles, where he worked as a plaintiff's lawyer with a reputation for getting multimillion-dollar settlements.

In that same year, he took on Stormy Daniels as a new client. Daniels said she was paid $130,000 right before the 2016 election to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she said she had with Donald J. Trump about ten years earlier.

After suing the then-president on her behalf, Mr. Avenatti enjoyed being in the spotlight. He became a frequent guest on TV, teased Mr. Trump on Twitter, and even thought about running for president himself.

But the relationship that brought him fame was also what killed him. In February, Mr. Avenatti was found guilty of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft as part of a plan to steal almost $300,000 from Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Judge Jesse M. Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sentenced Mr. Avenatti to four years in prison on Thursday. He said that while the lawyer had "done good in the world," he had also committed "brazen and egregious" crimes and "breached the highest duty a lawyer owes" to a client.

Before he was sentenced, Mr. Avenatti, 51, spoke to the court. He said that he had represented Ms. Daniels not to get famous, but because "no one else had the guts" to help her fight Mr. Trump, who he called "the single biggest threat to American democracy."

"I own the behavior I was found guilty of," Mr. Avenatti told the judge. "I let a lot of people down and failed in a terrible way."

Stormy Daniels said she was paid to keep quiet about a meeting she had with Donald Trump.
Stormy Daniels said she was paid to keep quiet about a meeting she had with Donald Trump.

Mr. Avenatti has been charged with crimes in a number of cases over the past few years. In California, he was accused of stealing millions of dollars from clients and lying about his business and income. Last year, a judge threw out the case because prosecutors didn't give the defense enough financial information.

In 2020, he was found guilty in Manhattan of trying to force Nike to pay him millions of dollars. He is now serving a sentence of two and a half years in prison. Later, his lawyer in that case filed a notice of appeal, and Mr. Avenatti's lawyers in the Daniels case wrote in court papers that he planned to appeal that conviction as well.

If Mr. Avenatti is found guilty of aggravated identity theft in the Daniels case, he must serve two years in prison. His lawyers asked for a sentence of one year and one day for wire fraud, to be served at the same time as the sentence for the Nike case. On the wire fraud count, the prosecutors asked for a "substantial" sentence that would be served separately from the Nike term.

On this count, Judge Furman gave Mr. Avenatti a two-year prison sentence, with 18 months to be served at the same time as the Nike sentence and six months on their own. The judge also told Mr. Avenatti to give back $148,750 and give up about $297,000.

This year's trial, in which Mr. Avenatti acted as his own lawyer and even asked Ms. Daniels about her beliefs in the supernatural as part of a cross-examination, reminded people of how they worked together to sue Mr. Trump. In that case, Mr. Avenatti said that Mr. Trump never signed a nondisclosure agreement that lawyers had given to Ms. Daniels in 2016, which made the agreement invalid. For a while, it seemed like Mr. Avenatti and Ms. Daniels couldn't be apart. They both showed up at the same time and said that Mr. Trump, who has denied Ms. Daniels' claims, was trying to scare and threaten her.

At the same time, Ms. Daniels signed a contract with St. Martin's Press for $800,000 to write a book called "Full Disclosure." Prosecutors showed proof that Mr. Avenatti had sent a fake letter to Ms. Daniels' literary agency with what looked like her signature, telling St. Martin's to send payments to a bank account he controlled.

Prosecutors say he used the money to pay his law firm's staff, buy plane tickets, eat out, and rent a Ferrari for about $3,900 a month. Prosecutors said that Mr. Avenatti sent Ms. Daniels about half of the money he got, but she never got the rest.

In a letter to Ms. Daniels from May 13 that was filed with the court, Mr. Avenatti apologized for his "actions and conduct" and said that he had let her down "in many ways," but he didn't say anything specific about taking money for a book advance.

Mr. Avenatti's lawyers asked for leniency by saying that he has always stood up for "the voiceless and powerless." In a letter to the court, they said that he had come from poor beginnings, worked his way through law school, and won more than $1 billion in settlements for his clients, who were often weak and old.

Those lawyers wrote that Mr. Avenatti took Ms. Daniels on as a client for $100 and a fee agreement that included a clause for "crowd-sourced reimbursement" of costs and expenses. He then became something of a "jack-of-all-trades legal fixer." They also said that he had helped Ms. Daniels with things like a lawsuit against a strip club in Florida and a false arrest claim against police in Ohio. They said that he did this "primarily with the resources of his firm."

The memo said that Mr. Avenatti was "overwhelmed" by his relationship with Ms. Daniels. "It put a big strain on the rest of Mr. Avenatti's business, which was already having money problems."

In their own memorandum, prosecutors said that Mr. Avenatti was not required to represent Ms. Daniels, that he could have focused his practice on work that paid the bills, and that when he did agree to represent her, he got exactly what he wanted: "fame and a platform."

The prosecutors wrote, "The defendant did something very bad." "He took money from a client who trusted him and depended on him."

The prosecutors went on to say that Mr. Avenatti had a "shaky relationship with the truth" when he told the jury a story about how his father sold hot dogs at a ballpark when he was a teenager. They based this on his summary. The judge stopped him.

Later, prosecutors said, Mr. Avenatti told the whole story to reporters outside the courthouse. He said that his father's boss had told him to use mustard to hide broken hot dogs, and then he compared the government's case to the mustard.

Prosecutors said that the story probably didn't come from Mr. Avenatti's father.

"Instead," they wrote, "the story is one that a lawyer who works with Mr. Avenatti has told at trials in this district about his own experience selling hot dogs at Shea Stadium."


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