Michael Avenatti sentenced 4 years in prison for stealing money from Stormy Daniels

Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced to four years in prison by a federal judge Thursday for stealing nearly $300,000 in book advance money from porn star Stormy Daniels.

A portion of his sentence will be served concurrent to time he’s already doing in a separate extortion case — but the fallen lawyer will have to serve 30 months of the new sentence after that, Manhattan federal Judge Jesse Furman ordered.

During the sentencing hearing, Avenatti, wearing beige jail fatigues, choked up at times as he addressed Furman, describing how his life had been upended since his arrests on a number of federal charges.

“I’ve brought embarrassment and ridicule upon myself and innocent third parties, including my family, my children, my friends and the legal profession,” he told Furman.

“I have destroyed my career, my relationships and my reputation and done collateral damage to my family and my life. There is serious doubt as to how or if I will recover any semblance of a normal life or peace,” Avenatti added.

The loudmouth lawyer, who rose to national fame during Donald Trump’s presidency by representing Daniels, stole two book advance payments from the porn star in 2018 that totaled nearly $300,000, a jury found at his trial earlier this year.

Daniels inked a book deal that year after it emerged she was paid $130,000 in hush money in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an alleged affair she had with Trump years earlier.

Before he imposed the sentence, Furman called the theft “brazen” and “egregious” — but acknowledged it was likely done out of desperation and that Avenatti intended to pay Daniels the money back.

“He took advantage of a vulnerable victim,” Furman said of Avenatti, adding that he breached her trust, “the highest duty a lawyer owes to a client.”

A lawyer for Daniels, Clark Brewster, blasted Avenatti in a courtroom statement before the sentence was handed down.

“He virtually left her abandoned,” Brewster said. “He put her in a position of not only being  victimized by his criminal conduct, but also just completely left her.”

Assistant US Attorney Matthew Podolsky also spoke about the betrayal Daniels felt after her attorney lied and stole from her.

“You can imagine the incredible personal betrayal that happened when she found out her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, not only stole her money but lied to her over and over again,” he told Furman.

“Ms. Daniels trusted him. She absolutely believed he was working for her,” he added.


Show More

Related Articles