NEW YORK (AP) — Convicted California lawyer Michael Avenatti wants leniency at sentencing for defrauding former client Stormy Daniels of hundreds of thousands of dollars, his lawyers say, citing a letter in which he told Daniels: “I am truly sorry.”
The emailed letter, dated May 13, was included in a submission his lawyers made late Thursday in Manhattan federal court in advance of a June 2 sentencing.
Avenatti, 51, should face no more than three years in prison for his latest conviction, or 4 1/2 years in all, because two convictions have destroyed his life, the lawyers said.
“This sobering reality is as sufficient and powerful a punishment and deterrence as any. Worse, Mr. Avenatti’s extreme rise and fall played out on the most public of platforms, an experience he is unlikely to ever recover from reputationally,” they said.
Last year, Avenatti was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to tarnish its reputation with claims that the sportswear giant was immersed in a college basketball recruiting scandal in which cash payouts were used to steer top-tier athletes to the best programs.
Then he was convicted by a jury this year for pocketing up to $300,000 of an $800,000 payout to Daniels for her autobiography, spending some of the money on his firm’s payroll and personal expenses.
Insisting on representing himself just before Daniels was to testify, Avenatti forced his lawyers to take a back seat as he confronted his former client over advances she receive... (Read more)
Submitted 43 days ago