Stormy Daniels, who Michael Avenatti once represented but then allegedly embezzled $ 300,000 dollars from, said Thursday that she hopes her beleagured former lawyer is able to turn her life around after being sentenced to 30 months in prison on Thursday for a separate extortion case.
“He was a man you wanted to trust and believe in, but the longer I knew him, the more I began to witness his lies and dishonesty until I realized that I too became his victim,” Stormy Daniels said in a statement Thursday. “I’m sure he found a bill today. Let’s hope it leads to [an] honest realization that he needs to change his life. “
Avenatti rose to fame in 201
MICHAEL AVENATTI SENT TO 2.5 YEARS IN PRISON IN NIKE EXTORTION CASE
A frequent guest on cable news and productive user of Twitter, and Avenatti eventually began to suggest that he may be running against former President Trump in the 2020 presidential election, but those political hopes went up in flames as prosecutors in California and New York accused him for fraud in March 2019.
A few months later, federal prosecutors in New York accused Avenatti of embezzling $ 300,000 from Daniels by using a doctored document to divert revenue from her book deal to her own personal and business expenses accounts.
“[Avenatti] blatantly lied to and stolen from his client to maintain his extravagant lifestyle, including to pay for, among other things, a monthly car payment on a Ferrari, “said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan in May 2019, when he announced the charges.” Far from zealously representing his client, Avenatti, as alleged, instead involved in direct deception and theft and victims rather than speaking for his client. “
Prosecutors said Avenatti eventually paid only Daniel half of the $ 300,000 advance she owed for her book. Meanwhile, Avenatti at the time claimed that no money “was ever misused or mistreated” and that his agreement to represent Daniel “contained a percentage of a book dividend.”
The trial is on the dock for later this year in New York.
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On Thursday, Avenatti was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for trying to blackmail Nike out of as much as $ 25 million, claiming he could inflict billions of dollars in damage with bad publicity.
U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe sharply criticized Avenatti in court Thursday, saying he “had been intoxicated by the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform as.”
“He had become a person who acted as if the laws and rules that apply to everyone else did not apply to him,” the judge said.
Meanwhile, Avenatti gave a weeping apology in the courtroom before his verdict.
“I and I alone have ruined my career, my relationships and my life,” Avenatti said. “Your honor, I have learned that all fame, notoriety and money in the world are meaningless. TV and Twitter, your honor, mean nothing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.