Michael Avenatti’s defense attorney Andrew Dalack and former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes react to Avenatti being found guilty on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on ‘Unfiltered.’
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A New York judge denied Michael Avenatti’s second request to be sentenced remotely on Wednesday after the former attorney was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft earlier this year for cheating adult actress Stormy Daniels out of $300,000.
“In the Court’s view, the gravity and significance of the sentencing proceeding would be ill served by a remote proceeding,” District Judge Jesse Furman wrote, according to a filing obtained by Law.com. “His desire to avoid being transported is not a valid reason to forego a public, in-person proceeding.”
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, stands with her lawyer Michael Avenatti during a news conference outside federal court in New York, April 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Avenatti is set to be sentenced on June 2 for the fraud conviction in New York. The count of aggravated identity fraud has a mandatory two-year prison sentence, while wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
A retrial in California federal court will begin in July on charges that he stole nearly $10 million from five of his clients. A Judge declared a mistrial in that California case last August, ruling that prosecutors failed to turn over relevant financial evidence.
Former attorney Michael Avenatti, representing himself, cross-examines witness Stormy Daniels during his criminal trial at the United States Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 27, 2022, in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)
Avenatti was also previously convicted in February 2020 of trying to extort Nike out of $25 million and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.
It’s the latest turn in Avenatti’s downfall after he rose to fame, or infamy, by representing Stormy Daniels as she tried to get out of a $130,000 deal to stay silent about an alleged affair with former President Trump, who denies the affair ever happened.
Daniels eventually found out that Avenatti had pocketed a portion of her $800,000 book deal.
Former attorney Michael Avenatti walks out of a New York courthouse after a hearing on July 23, 2019, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Daniels had a simple response to Judge Furman’s denial of Avenatti’s bid to be sentenced remotely, tweeting, “See ya there, b—-!… except I’m flying in first class. Buwahaha.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.