Here we are talking about Michael Avenatti Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison. Michael Avenatti, a disgraced lawyer, was given a 14-year prison term and forced to pay over $11 million in restitution for misappropriating millions of dollars from four of his clients and obstructing justice Monday.
Avenatti entered a guilty plea to one count of attempting to obstruct the Internal Revenue Code’s administration as well as four charges of wire fraud for each client he stole from earlier this year. He allegedly prevented the IRS from collecting $5 million in delinquent payroll taxes for Tully’s Coffee, according to the prosecution.
Avenatti will begin completing the five-year prison term he is presently serving after being found guilty in two separate trials in New York when the judge’s sentence, which was imposed by federal district judge James Selna, is completed. Avenatti also had to pay over $10 million in restitution to four clients as well as the IRS, according to Selna.
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“Michael Avenatti was a dishonest attorney who insisted he was standing up for the underdog. In reality, he just had his own self-serving interests in mind, according to US Attorney Martin Estrada, who released a statement after the sentence.
He defrauded his clients of millions of dollars in order to support his luxurious lifestyle, which included a private jet and race cars. He is no longer permitted to practice law in California as a result of his illegal actions, and he will now serve a well-deserved prison term.
The sentencing was “overly punitive and uncalled for,” according to Avenatti’s lawyer Dean Steward, who also noted that his client described it as “off the charts” in court. The unfairness is obvious when compared to other high-profile cases, according to Steward.
The sentence handed down on Monday is the most recent development in a remarkable, years-long legal saga involving Avenatti, whose representation of adult film star Stormy Daniels—who claimed to have an affair with former President Donald Trump years before he ran for office—made the combative lawyer famous.
“Avenatti’s deceit was heinous, and it is obvious that the court wanted to make a strong statement. But given all the factors, a 14-year sentence is excessively high, according to sources, Senior Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig.
Avenatti was found guilty of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike and stealing about $300,000 from a book advance from Daniels, his then-client, and was consequently given the prison term he is currently serving. (Trump has refuted a relationship between him and Daniels.) In the California case, Avenatti had a statutory maximum sentence of 83 years in jail.
The Justice Department dismissed the 31 remaining fraud accusations against Avenatti earlier this year when he decided to enter a guilty plea to a small number of the charges.
In a court filing at the time, federal prosecutors stated that they would not pursue the remaining 31 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and tax-related offenses since the judge might take those claims into account when deciding Avenatti’s final sentence.
Avenatti admitted to stealing millions of dollars from clients when he pleaded guilty earlier this year, including $4 million from a client who had a severe disability.
The indictment alleges that when Avenatti won settlements for clients that called for payment to go to them, he would misrepresent the terms of the settlements to the clients while putting the money into accounts he controlled for attorney trusts.
According to the indictment, he would subsequently embezzle and misappropriate those funds, and among other things, to keep his plan hidden from clients, he would claim that the settlement amounts hadn’t yet been received.
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