The lawyer was convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike in order to “advance his own agenda.”
Michael Avenatti, an arrogant lawyer, once represented the pornographic actress Stormy Daniels Lawsuit against Donald Trump Before a series of criminal charges ended his legal career, he was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison for trying to blackmail Nike on Thursday.
US District Judge Paul Gardephe of Manhattan said that 50-year-old Avenatti had betrayed his client, a youth basketball coach, for his own benefit, and “has been immersed in the power of his platform. “.
“Mr. Avenatti’s behavior is outrageous,” Gardephe said. “He hijacked customer claims and used these claims to advance his agenda, which is to extort millions of dollars from Nike for himself.”
The once-obscured lawyer became a cable news media in 2018, belittling the then President Trump, and even flirted with the White House himself.
When prosecutors in California and New York accused Avenatti of fraud in March 2019, these political aspirations disappeared. The California prosecutor said he was enjoying a lifestyle of $200,000 a month while defrauding customers of millions of dollars, and he did not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Internal Revenue Service.
A few weeks later, he was accused of defrauding Daniels from the proceeds of the book transaction. Avenatti pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The recording shows that Avenatti told the Nike lawyer that unless it succumbed to his request, he would “expose” the cover of the sportswear company and wipe $10 billion from its market value.
The prosecutor said that Avenatti was counting on a big payday to pay off his own debt. Nike denies wrongdoing.
Avenatti was also convicted of deceiving coach Gary Franklin because he did not tell him that he would not settle unless an investigation was conducted.
Franklin was upset that Nike stopped sponsoring his projects and said he only wanted to restore their relationship. He said that Avenatti “ruined my reputation” in his community.
Before being sentenced, Avenatti lost her composure, admitted that she was “lost”, and apologized to Franklin and others.
“TV and Twitter, your honor, is meaningless,” Avenatti told the judge. “Everyone wants to take a limousine with you, but few people are willing to sit next to you on the bus. Even less, Your Honor, are willing to answer your phone calls in prison.
“I destroyed my career, relationships and life by myself,” he added.
Prosecutors demanded a “very heavy” sentence on the grounds of eight years imprisonment recommended by the U.S. Department of Probation. Avenatti’s lawyers stated that six months’ imprisonment and one year’s family imprisonment are sufficient.
In a victim impact statement, Nike’s lawyers stated that Avenatti had wrongly attempted to link it to the scandal and caused considerable damage to the company. The scandal paid bribes to the families of NBA college basketball players to guide them to participate in the powerful s project. An employee of Nike’s rival Adidas was found guilty in the lawsuit.
The lawyer said that Avenatti threatened to cause billions of dollars in damage to Nike, and then falsely claimed on Twitter that Nike’s criminal behavior reached the “highest level.”
Avenatti’s lawyers stated in a statement submitted before the sentencing that their client suffered enough, on the grounds that he suffered a huge public stigma last year, and went to jail after the lawyer said he was particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.