A New York judge has sentenced shamed lawyer Michael Avenatti to prison for 30 months this Thursday for trying to extort Nike of $25 million.
The case is among many that Avenatti is currently linked to. While he was speaking to the court before the judge’s sentence, Avenatti supposedly cried. Judge Paul Gardephe slammed him during the sentencing.
“Mr. Avenatti’s behaviour was outrageous. He took over his client’s claims, and used those claims to push his own agenda — which was to get millions of dollars from the Nike corporation,”,., Gardephe said. “Mr. Avenatti had gotten drunk from the power of his platform, or what he thought his power was. He had turned into someone who worked as if rules and laws don’t apply to him.”
Last month, the prosecutors led by Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said that Avenatti deserved a “substantial” sentence for his crimes.
“The defendant, a media personality and top lawyer with a public fan base, betrayed his legal client and attempted to enrich himself by turning his public profile into a weapon to extort a publicly-traded company out of millions of dollars. This was a terrible abuse of trust, and it deserves serious and real punishment,” the prosecutors said in a court filing.
Avenatti’s defense lawyers pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying that Avenatti had already faced enough public humiliation during this case.
“Avenatti’s epic fall and shaming has played its course in front of the whole world. The Court should take notice of this fact, as Avenatti’s fall was well-documented. He is mocked by former President Trump and his allied media outlets, to the glee of millions of the former President’s supporters,” the attorneys said.
“He cannot go anywhere without being subjected to vitriolic abuse and comments. These circumstances alone should deter anyone from engaging in more of the same conduct,” they said.
Avenatti was ruled guilty of extortion in Feb. Berman said then that: “As alleged, Avenatti did use illegal and extortionate threats in order to obtain millions of dollars from a public company. Saying that this payout is a retainer or a settlement does not change what it was – a shakedown.”
Author: Blake Ambrose