- Avenatti allegedly cheated clients out of thousands and millions of dollars, including Stormy Daniels
Prosecutors urged a judge Wednesday to impose a “very substantial” prison sentence on Michael Avenatti for trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike
Prosecutors noted in a Manhattan federal court submission that Probation Office officials recommend an eight-year prison term for the California attorney who gained fame three years ago through his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels against then-President Trump.
“The defendant, a prominent attorney and media personality with a large public following, betrayed his client and sought to enrich himself by weaponizing his public profile in an attempt to extort a publicly-traded company out of tens of millions of dollars. This was an egregious abuse of trust, and it warrants real and serious punishment,” prosecutors wrote.
The government said Avenatti, representing the director of a youth basketball program in Los Angeles, tried to force the apparel maker to pay him up to $25 million to keep him quiet about allegations of corruption involving Nike and college athletics.
Avenatti, 50, was convicted at trial last year. In a pre-sentence submission last week, his lawyers urged leniency, saying six months in prison and a year of home detention would be sufficient punishment.
Prosecutors attached victim impact statements from Nike and Avenatti’s former client, Gary Franklin Sr. They urged the judge to order Avenatti to pay $1 million in restitution to Nike for its legal fees.