Attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $11 million in restitution after pleading guilty to fraud.
Avenatti pleaded guilty to wire fraud against four clients, from whom he embezzled millions. Prosecutors also said he obstructed the IRS’ effort to collect $5 million in unpaid payroll taxes.
It’s been a long way down for the attorney, who first achieved national fame in 2018 when he represented the porn star known as “Stormy Daniels” in her lawsuits against then-President Trump. She had sued Trump to break a confidentiality agreement which had forced her to stay silent about an adulterous affair they’d had.
Avenatti is currently serving prison time for cheating Daniels out of profits from a book.
In a DOJ press release announcing Monday’s sentencing, Tyler Hatcher, the Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Los Angeles Field Office said, “Michael Avenatti violated the trust placed in him by his clients. Instead of helping his clients receive the compensation that they were owed and needed, he pocketed the money, stealing from people who were already hurting. The money was used to fuel a lavish lifestyle that had no limits.”
During his sentencing, Avenatti apologized to the clients from whom he embezzled.
“I am deeply remorseful and contrite,” he 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.”