Michael Avenatti Pleads Guilty To His Other Criminal Charges
Avenatti was initially sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday for stealing around $300,000 in book advance money from the adult film star.
On Sunday, he pleaded guilty in a federal court in California to stealing millions of dollars from clients, lying to the Internal Revenue Service and a bankruptcy court, and defrauding a bank. Avenatti said he pleaded guilty “to be accountable; accept responsibility; avoid his former clients being further burdened; save the court and the government significant resources; and save his family further embarrassment.”
The attorney previously received a 2.5 year sentence in a different court case for trying to extort Nike out of $25 million by threatening the company with bad publicity unless it capitulated to his requests.
“Micheal Avenatti used illegal threats and betrayed one of his clients for the purpose of seeking to obtain millions of dollars for himself,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said following the outcome of that case. “Not only did Avenatti attempt to weaponize his law license and celebrity to seek to extort payments for himself, he also defrauded his own client. Avenatti will now serve substantial time in prison for his criminal conduct.”
The legal filing hasn’t specified the charges that Avenatti could face, since he failed to reach a settlement after plea bargaining with prosecutors. A trial over the first ten charges will take place on July 26.
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