Disgraced lawyer and former darling of the anti-Trump media Michael Avenattii was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for dodging taxes and stealing millions of dollars from clients. Avenatti was also ordered to pay nearly $8 million in restitution after admitting he used settlement money paid to his clients to buy a private jet.
NBC News reports:
The sentence should run consecutively to the five-year prison term he is currently serving for separate convictions in New York, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna said during a hearing in Santa Ana, California.
Avenatti pleaded guilty earlier this year to four counts of wire fraud and a tax-related charge without reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, saying he wanted to be accountable and spare his family further embarrassment. He was accused of negotiating and collecting settlement payments on behalf of his clients and instead funneling the money to accounts he controlled.
Before being sentence, Avenatti reportedly apologized to his victims, some of whom were present in the courtroom. “I am deeply remorseful and contrite,” the disgraced attorney said said. “There is no doubt that all of them deserve much better, and I hope that someday they will accept my apologies and find it in their heart to forgive me.”
Donald Trump Jr., a longtime adversary of Avenatti, offered his take after the sentence was announced: