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Michael Avenatti pleads guilty in federal court to five criminal charges

Avenatti faces up to 83 years in prison

Published: June 16, 2022 4:41pm

Updated: June 16, 2022 4:59pm

Michael Avenatti, former attorney for adult actress Stormy Daniels, pleaded guilty to five criminal counts on Thursday in federal court.

During his Santa Ana, California, court hearing, the anti-Trump lawyer pleaded guilty to four charges of wire fraud related to defrauding clients, Fox News reported.

He also admitted to obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service from collecting up to $5 million in unpaid taxes.

Although he was suspended by the California State Bar, Avenatti represented himself. He was unable to reach a deal with the prosecution before now, but Fox reported that he ultimately "decided to change his plea in an effort to hold himself accountable and avoid any further embarrassment to his family." 

Avenatti offered to plead guilty to the charges last month.

He was already sentenced in June to four years in prison for defrauding Daniels. 

Avenatti faces up to 83 years in prison for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors are expected to announce next week whether they plan on pursuing 31 additional criminal charges against Avenatti. 

If the government does not bring additional charges against the attorney, his sentencing is expected to be in mid-September.

Regardless, he will be forced to pay more than $1 million in fines and about $14 million in restitution, Fox reported. 

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