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Former Celebrity Lawyer Michael Avenatti Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison For Defrauding Clients

Former Celebrity Lawyer Michael Avenatti Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison For Defrauding Clients

Michael Avenatti
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SANTA ANA (CelebrityAccess) – Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, perhaps best known for representing porn star Stormy Daniels against Donald Trump, was sentenced Monday (December 4) to 14 years in prison for stealing millions of dollars from clients. US District Judge James Selna also fined Avenatti 10 million dollars as restitution to the clients and IRS.

The third time has not been a charm for this swindler, as Monday’s court case was the last of three major federal criminal cases to wrap up against the 51-year-old. He is currently serving prison time for stealing book proceeds from Daniels (who sued to break an agreement with Trump to stay quiet about their affair) and for trying to extort upwards of $25 million from the athletic brand Nike.

Avenatti pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and a tax-related charge earlier this year, saying he wanted to be accountable and spare his family further embarrassment. He was accused of negotiating and collecting settlement payments on behalf of his clients, lying to them about the amounts of the settlement terms, and then putting the money in accounts he controlled to fund his lifestyle, including private jets and multiple homes.

His voice breaking and very emotional, Avenatti apologized to the clients he defrauded, including two who spoke to the court about how Avenetti stole their trust and money.

“I am deeply remorseful and contrite,” Avenatti said. “There is no doubt that all of them deserve much better, and I hope that someday they will accept my apologies and find it in their heart to forgive me.”

“Michael Avenatti was a corrupt lawyer who claimed he was fighting for the little guy. In fact, he only cared about his own selfish interests,” US Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement following the sentencing. “He stole millions of dollars from his clients – and as a result of his illegal acts, he has lost his right to practice law in California, and now he will serve a richly deserved prison sentence.”

Dean Steward, an attorney for Avenatti, said in a statement to CNN that the sentence “was overly harsh and uncalled for,” adding that his client described it in court as being “off the charts.”

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