Onetime Trump Foe, Michael Avenatti, Sentenced to 14 Years In Federal Prison
Disgraced lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for stealing from clients and tax fraud.
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According to an official release from the IRS, Avenatti was sentenced to 168 months behind bars for stealing millions of dollars from his clients – one of whom was a paraplegic with mental health issues – and for obstructing the IRS's efforts to collect more than $3 million in unpaid payroll taxes from a coffee business he owned.
During the sentencing hearing, United States District Judge James V. Selna, said Avenatti "has done great evil for which he must answer."
The attorney, who was previously based in Newport Beach, California, has been a federal prisoner since February 7 of this year. He pled guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of endeavoring to obstruct the Internal Revenue Code on June 16.
"Michael Avenatti violated the trust placed in him by his clients. Instead of helping his clients receive the compensation that they were owed and needed, he pocketed the money, stealing from people who were already hurting. The money was used to fuel a lavish lifestyle that had no limits," Tyler Hatcher, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation's Los Angeles Field Office shared.
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Hatcher continued, "While today's sentencing concludes the government's case against Mr. Avenatti, the enormous damage left behind will be felt by his former clients for quite some time. It is our sincere hope that his victims will take some solace in the fact that he has been held accountable for his criminal actions."
Prior to details about his crimes going public, the legal counselor was a onetime of former President Donald Trump and his legal team.
In 2018, Avenatti represented adult film star Stormy Daniels (AKA Stephanie Gregory Clifford), who filed multiple unsuccessful lawsuits against Trump.
ABC News noted that this situation skyrocketed Avenatti to fame, noting that news outlets asked "him about his skin-care routine and Tom Ford suits while he and Daniels posed for photographer Annie Leibovitz."
Credit: Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Avenatti also briefly considered presidential candidacy at the height of his popularity, dining with high-net-worth potential donors and forming a political action group to accept donations.
News of Avenatti's crimes let to a meteoric decline in his popularity. It has not been confirmed where he will serve his lengthy prison sentence.
What do you think about Avenatti's jail time?
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Feature Image Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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