Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzling millions of customers

  • Michael Avenatti has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzling clients worth millions.
  • He pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud earlier this year.
  • His sentence begins after serving his current five-year sentence on unrelated charges.

Michael Avenatti has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of wire fraud earlier this year.

Avenatti, a former high-profile attorney who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her now-dismissed lawsuit against Donald Trump, faced a possible 83-year sentence for embezzling millions of dollars from four different clients — including $4 million from a client with major disabilities.

The suspended attorney used his position as legal counsel to defraud his clients and lied to them about the amount of money they made in court cases and pocketed the money for himself to fund his coffee business and race car team. He pleaded guilty in June.

“To this day I don’t know why Michael lied and betrayed me, why he broke my trust, why he broke my heart,” wrote Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, a mentally ill, disabled, paraplegic man who relied on Avenatti’s counsel Testifying in court, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Johnson won a $4 million settlement against Los Angeles County in a case alleging the county violated his constitutional rights and caused his quadriplegia. But Avenatti kept the bulk of the settlement funds and lied to Johnson about it for years.

“I trusted him implicitly, I believed the things he told me, but it was all part of his plan to cheat me out of my settlement,” reported the Los Angeles Times, Johnson wrote. “To this day I still have a hard time trusting people because of what Michael did and I live in constant fear of being taken advantage of again, especially given my physical disability.”

Avenatti will begin his sentence after completing a separate 5-year sentence that he is currently serving on independent charges. Last year Avenatti was sentenced to two and a half years for attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike, and earlier this year he received an additional four years for embezzling nearly $300,000 from adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

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