U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe has sentenced famous lawyer Michael Avenatti to two and half years for his role in efforts to extort cash payments from Nike. Avenatti rose to fame during his representation of adult film actress Stormy Daniels and for his attacks against President Trump. The 50-year-old lawyer was a constant presence on news channels for his combative style and willingness to directly go after the former president.
In February 2020, Avenatti was convicted of extortion, the transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, and wire fraud. He was recorded attempting to extort the sportswear company on a phone call in 2019. According to court papers, he said:
“I’m not f—ing around with this, and I’m not continuing to play games… You guys know enough now to know you’ve got a serious problem. And it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing. A few million dollars doesn’t move the needle for me.”
He is reported to have asked for between $15 million and $25 million.
His defense lawyers had asked for a minimal sentence, suggesting that their client was not dangerous. They 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.”
Avenatti’s legal troubles are far from over, however. He also faces charges of defrauding his former client, Stormy Daniels, and other federal charges. He has denied guilt in these matters.
Liberty Nation will keep you updated on further developments.