Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who once represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzlement.
Avenatti was also ordered to pay nearly $11 million in restitution for embezzling millions of dollars from four of his clients and to the government.
The sentence, which was handed down by U.S. District Judge James Selna, is in addition to the five years in prison that Avenatti, 51, was already serving for two further convictions which were handed down in a Manhattan federal court.
Judge Selna praised Avenatti for his life achievements and for the “good things” he has done, but also noted that he has “also done great evil.”
One of the clients that Avenatti stole from, Geoffrey Ernest Johnson, was a mentally-ill paraplegic on disability allowance.
“To this day, I do not know why Michael lied and deceived me, why he broke my trust, why he broke my heart,” Johnson wrote in a statement to the court. “Next to the incident that caused me to become paralyzed, meeting Michael and having him steal my money is the worst thing that has happened to me.”
Avenatti is currently jailed at the low-security Terminal Island federal prison in San Pedro, California.
Avenatti represented himself during the trial, and requested that Selma limit his prison time to 6 years, which would be served concurrently with his other conviction.
“Your honor, I am deeply sorry and remorseful for my criminal conduct,” Avenatti said, adding that his actions “brought shame upon my family, my friends and my profession.”
“At no point in time did I set out to bilk my clients,” he said. “I am not an evil or vile man.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC
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