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Avenatti Suffers Another Defeat in Court

Disbarred attorney Michael Avenatti has lost a critical appeal in the hopes of reversing his sentence for extorting athletics giant Nike. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan denied the former lawyer’s appeal ruling in a 3-0 decision. Avenatti’s remaining prison sentence is roughly 19 years with his expected release set for January 2036, according to Reuters.

Michael Avenatti rose to prominence for his vocal criticisms of former President Donald Trump and as an attorney representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her defamation lawsuit against Trump. However, in 2019, Avenatti was arrested for extorting Nike and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, according to Reuters. Through his appeal, Avenatti had hoped to overturn the sentence, though the court has now made it official: They found all of his arguments meritless.

It was revealed during the trial that Avenatti represented Los Angeles youth sports coach Gary Franklin and “used a quid pro quo to solicit a bribery from Nike … with the intent to defraud Franklin of the honest services owed to him by his attorney,” according to the Wednesday filing. Avenatti allegedly demanded 1.5 million dollars in payment for Franklin and his attorneys as well as a guarantee of at least 15 million dollars “regardless of the amount of work ultimately performed.”

Avenatti’s legal troubles have ascended since his 2019 conviction, as he was also sentenced to two and a half years in 2022 for defrauding Stormy Daniels out of a book deal. Moreover, he recently received an additional 14 years for pleading guilty to embezzling millions from four of his clients.

Although Avenatti was widely seen on MSNBC and CNN prior to his legal entanglements, ruminating on the possibility of a presidential run, he now faces many years in prison. It remains to be seen how the former attorney’s story will unfold as his long-term imprisonment continues, and if his sentence can ever be overturned.

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