Michael Avenatti Sobs In Court As Judge Sentences Disgraced Dem Lawyer To 30 Months In Prison
Disgraced lawyer and one-time Dem presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti just got the bad news from the judge, who did not buy his crocodile tears, in his Nike extortion trial. Judge Gardephe just sentenced Avenatti to 30 months in prison. He will face even mores serious charges in California and he again will be in court with the Stormy Daniels fraud charges. This guy will be locked up for a long time.
Inner City Press reported the blow by blow on Twitter including Avenatti’s sobs in court as he begged forgiveness from the judge. Inner City said:
Judge Gardephe: The Probation Department applied the enhancement because Mr. Avenatti abused a position of trust… I will group all three counts together to calculate the guidelines level. Extortion is the highest: the base level is 9, 20 levels are added.
Judge Gardephe: Mr. Avenatti objects, saying the cost of an internal investigation should be subtracted. His argument is not persuasive. Nike has already performed an internal investigation. And Mr. Avenatti was not qualified to do one – he had a conflict
Judge Gardephe: There was ample evidence Mr. Avenatti had no genuine interest in performing an internal investigation. His objections are overruled. 2 levels are added for abuse of trust. Offense level is 31. No criminal history. Guideline is 108 to 135 months.
Judge Gardephe: Ms. Perry, I’ll hear from you as to an appropriate sentence.
Ms. Perry: I know that you’ve read the letters that’ve been submitted. He feels he’s brought enough shame to his parent, and pain- he faced challenges growing up. He’s always worked hard.
Perry: He wanted to be the David fighting Goliath. But he lost his way. He is a loving and devoted father and friend. His daughters have written – we ask the letters should be sealed, they are minors. Anyone who supports Avenatti faces abuse. I have, as a woman.
Perry: The letter describe a man who has decent values, generous and kind. His ex-wife begs the court to take into account his full story. His daughters cite his goofy side. I know how those tape recordings sound.
Perry: He will never use his law license again. He faces serious charges in other matters. He’s had an epoch fall. He’s served hard time already: 100 days of solitary, and difficult home confinement since. No one would wish them on themselves.
Perry: The factors favor significant leniency in this case. The facts are unusual. There was a whisper-thin line. What’s the distinction between Mr Avenatti’s conduct and that of Mr Geragos, who the US did not charge? Indulge me: Garagos was in every conversation.
Perry: Geragos insisted on the internal investigation, and he would have been paid for it. The Nike lawyers felt as extorted by him. The US at first agreed, and called him a co-conspirator. I am not making a “what-about-ism” argument here.
Perry: This was not a case of violent threats, so no sentence near the guidelines is merited. You need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities. No one else was charged. But consider Mr Garagos – he maintains a national profile, speaking at events and the like.
Perry: We submitted a chart that the US did not meaningfully respond to….
Judge Gardephe: You’ve cited the case of a defendant who got a 5K letter as a cooperator. They accepted responsibility, and expressed remorse. I’m sure the judge took that into account.
AUSA (Prosecutor): This case was not about nasty language, it was about abuse of trust. Of Mr. Franklin. Mr. Avenatti looked him in the eye, then flew across the country and demanded that Nike pay him, and not Mr. Franklin. Then he told Mr. Franklin, It went great.
AUSA: There’s also a public abuse of trust. He was a lawyer, trusted by the public to represent the interest of others. They say, David versus Goliath, on social media. Then he abused that trust. And he has a profound lack of remorse.
AUSA: At no time did Mr. Avenatti express an interest in pleading guilty. You saw that at trial. And we saw it just now. We have yet to see any sincere expression of remorse. He casts blame on others, like Mr. Geragos. But Mr. Geragos did not meet Mr Franklin.
AUSA: We submit that a substantial sentence of imprisonment is needed in this case.
Judge Gardephe: Mr. Avenatti?
Avenatti: May I step to the podium?
Judge Gardephe: Please do.
Avenatti: Your Honor, when I was child I dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Others wanted to be athletes. I wanted to be a trial lawyer, and doing good, achieving justice. Fighting for the little guy against the Goliaths. For years I did just that. Then I lost my way.
Avenatti: I betrayed my profession. I became driven by the things that don’t matter in life. In the past two years I’ve asked, Why did this have to happen? I’ve learned that money and notoriety are meaningless. Everyone wants to ride in a limo with you, not a bus.
Avenatti: Few want to take you calls from prison. I am truly sorry for pain I have caused Mr. Franklin and others. I am humbled. I still feel positive. I know I can do better. I can be the person I dreamed of being (voice cracks). I will never practice law again.
Avenatti: I am grateful to my family. (sobs). I’m sorry your Honor. I am thankful to my few friends who have stood by me. I and I alone have destroyed my career, my relationships, my life. I deserve to pay, have paid & will pay a further price for what I have done.
Avenatti: My 3 children are not here. I decided last week I could not ask them to give me any more. I have already subjected them to so much. Too much. It should never be a child’s job to save his father. I want my children to be ashamed of me.
Avenatti: Because if my children are ashamed of me, their moral compass would be where it should be. Thank you your Honor.
Judge Gardephe: This arises from Mr. Avenatti’s representation of Franklin. Nike dropped Franklin, and he lost control of his 17 & under team.
Judge Gardephe: Mr. Franklin turned to a friend to help regain the Nike sponsorship. But Nike referred it to Boies Schiller. So after a time, Mr. Avenatti met Mr. Franklin on March 5, and got documents. Avenatti told Franklin he would represent him.
Judge Gardephe: At the March 19 meeting, Wilson and an in-house Nike lawyer met Avenatti and Geragos. Avenatti shared confidential documents and demanded $1.5 million and that he be hired for an internal investigation, or he’d hold a press conference the next day.
Judge Gardephe: Nike’s lawyers had been working with the SDNY US Attorney’s Office’s lawyers. So they contacted them. So the next meetings were recorded – and used at trial. On March 19 in a call with Mr. Wilson, Avenatti laid out his demands.
Judge Gardephe: Avenatti said, “I’m not going to f*ck around… A few million doesn’t move the needle for me. I’ll call the New York Times, they’re waiting for my call. I’ll take $10 billion off your client’s market cap.”
Judge Gardephe: Avenatti poo-pooed paying Franklin, saying the lion's share should go to him. Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on what he perceived as the power of his platform. He thought the rules didn't apply to him. This is criminal conduct that must be deterred— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) July 8, 2021
Judge Gardephe: The defense seeks six months imprisonment. The government says a "very substantial term of imprisonment" is necessary. Here's my reasoning: Mr. Avenatti's conduct was outrageous. He hijacked his clients claims for himself— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) July 8, 2021
Michael Avenatti is crying in the courtroom during his speech before sentencing.— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) July 8, 2021
This video will never get old. https://t.co/BBQXlU564R— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 8, 2021
Breaking: Michael Avenatti sentenced to 30 months in prison for trying to extort Nike.— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) July 8, 2021
The judge said Avenatti "became drunk on the power of his platform" and "betrayed" his clients.