Federal Court Hands Michael Avenatti Huge Defeat

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Disbarred attorney Michael Avenatti lost an appeal to overturn his sentence for extorting athletics giant Nike, according to a Wednesday court filing.

Avenatti rose to prominence for criticizing former President Donald Trump and representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her defamation lawsuit against Trump. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan denied Avenatti’s appeal in a 3-0 decision, with the former lawyer potentially facing 19 years in prison and a scheduled release set for January 2036, according to Reuters.

The former lawyer represented Los Angeles youth sports coach Gary Franklin and “used a quid pro quo to solicit a bribe from Nike … with the intent to defraud Franklin of the honest services owed to him by his attorney,” according to the Wednesday filing.

Avenatti was arrested in 2019 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for extorting Nike, according to Reuters. He allegedly demanded a $1.5 million payment for Franklin, who supposedly had information that was deleterious to Nike.

Avenatti then allegedly demanded that Nike retain him “and guarantee a total minimum payment of $15 million regardless of the amount of work ultimately performed,” according to the Wednesday filing. The challenges in Avenatti’s appeal were “meritless,” according to the filing. (RELATED: Michael Avenatti Weighs In On Trump Indictment From Behind Bars)

Moreover, Avenatti received an additional two and a half years in 2022 for defrauding Daniels out of a book deal, according to Reuters. Further, a judge sentenced Avenatti to another 14 years following his pleading guilty to embezzling millions from four of his clients.

Before Avenatti’s legal troubles, he frequently appeared on CNN and MSNBC and considered a run for president.

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