Michael Avenatti gets 14 years in prison for tax, wire fraud

Avenatti had no prior criminal history before his rise to cable news fame as Stormy Daniels' lawyer.

Updated: December 5, 2022 - 4:11pm

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Anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti received a 14-year prison sentences on Monday after being convicted of tax and wire fraud.

He will serve that sentence concurrent with the four-year sentence he is already serving after being convicted of defrauding his client Stormy Daniels. He previously received a 2.5-year sentence for attempting to extort sportswear company Nike out of millions.

Avenatti rose to fame while representing Daniels, a porn star with whom former President Donald Trump allegedly had a relationship. A jury convicted him of stealing roughly $300,000 of Daniels' money owed in connection with a tell-all book she wrote about her alleged interaction with the 45th president.

Monday's sentencing, however, came in connection with a separate set of charges, to which he pleaded guilty earlier this year. Among those were separate counts of wire fraud in connection with taking money from his clients. He also admitted to obstructing the IRS's attempt to collect millions in tax revenue owed in connection with his law firm's purchase of a coffee company.

As part of the sentencing recommendation, prosecutors said Avenatti followed a "general pattern" of lying "about the true terms of the settlement agreement he had negotiated for the client" and would then "conceal the settlement payments that the counterparty had made, secretly take and spend the settlement proceeds that belonged to the client, and lull the client into not complaining or investigating further by providing small 'advances' on the supposedly yet-to-be-paid funds."

They further asserted that Avenatti showed no real contrition for his actions by making a "self-serving" apology that was scant on detail, according to Fox News.

In the letter, he "did not identify any specific conduct for which he was apologizing. Again, defendant said the bare minimum and only said it when the issue of his 'acceptance of responsibility' is being considered in connection with his sentencing."

Avenatti had no prior criminal history before his rise to cable news fame as Daniels' lawyer.