American former attorney and convicted fraudster, best known for his legal representation and defrauding of adult film actress Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti was sentenced to 14 years in prison for wire fraud and endeavoring to obstruct the administration of the Interal Revenue Service on Monday. He has been ordered to pay nearly $11 million in restitution to his former clients, as well as the IRS.
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As part of his guilty plea earlier this year, Avenatti admitted to stealing millions from four of his clients, but insisted the amount was “drastically less” than the $9 million claimed by federal prosecutors. He was accused of negotiating settlements for his clients and lying about the terms of their agreement. After receiving a payment, Avenatti would transfer the money into his own accounts before telling clients he had not received anything, per Complex.
“Michael Avenatti was a corrupt lawyer who claimed he was fighting for the little guy. In fact, he only cared about his own selfish interests,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement in response to his sentencing. “He stole millions of dollars from his clients—all to finance his extravagant lifestyle that included a private jet and race cars. As a result of his illegal acts, he has lost his right to practice law in California, and now he will serve a richly deserved prison sentence.”
Avenatti will begin his 14-year sentence once he completes four years behind bars for pocketing almost $300,000 owed to adult film actress Stormy Daniels as part of her Full Disclosure book deal.
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Sources: Associated Press, Complex
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