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Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in prison for cheating clients out of millions

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Michael Avenatti was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Monday for cheating four former clients out of millions of dollars and trying to obstruct the IRS from collecting payroll taxes from a coffee shop that he owned. 

It caps off a stunning fall from grace for the former attorney, who is already serving five years in prison for stealing book proceeds from porn actress Stormy Daniels and trying to extort Nike out of $25 million. 

The 14-year sentence handed down on Monday will run consecutively to the five years that he is already serving in previous cases, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ruled. 

Michael Avenatti speaks to members of the media after leaving federal court on Feb. 4, 2022, in New York.

Michael Avenatti speaks to members of the media after leaving federal court on Feb. 4, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Avenatti, who addressed his victims in court on Monday, was also ordered to pay $7 million in restitution. 

MICHAEL AVENATTI SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DEFRAUDING STORMY DANIELS

“I am deeply remorseful and contrite,” Avenatti said in court before the sentencing. “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.”

Prosecutors laid out in a 36-count indictment how Avenatti collected a $4 million settlement from Los Angeles County for a man who was paralyzed from injuries he sustained while in custody of law enforcement. Avenatti used the funds for his coffee business and personal expenses, paying the man “advances” of no more than $1,900 at a time. 

MICHAEL AVENATTI’S BID TO BE SENTENCED REMOTELY DENIED: STORMY DANIELS QUIPS, ‘SEE YA THERE, B—-!’

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, stands with her former lawyer Michael Avenatti during a news conference.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, stands with her former lawyer Michael Avenatti during a news conference.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Avenatti obtained a $3 million settlement for another client in early 2017 and used most of the money for a private jet, then lied to the client by saying the settlement would be paid out in monthly payments over several years. 

US PROSECUTORS TARGET AVENATTI’S $4.5 MILLION JET FOR CIVIL FORFEITURE

Prosecutors also said that Avenatti stole from clients whom he represented in an intellectual property claim and another business dispute. 

For the tax fraud charge, Avenatti failed to pay more than $3 million in payroll taxes related to his coffee business then tried to stop the IRS from collecting the unpaid taxes. 

Michael Avenatti speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. 

Michael Avenatti speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. 
(Chris Zoeller/Globe-Gazette via AP)

Prosecutor Brett Sagel characterized Avenatti as a serial fraudster. 

“He didn’t turn to his criminal actions by desperation, by need, by the inability to do anything else,” Sagel told the court. “Despite the significant advantages that this defendant had — a first-rate education, a thriving legal career — he chose to commit the deplorable acts in this case time and time again.”

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Prosecutors agreed to drop remaining charges after Avenatti pleaded guilty to five counts earlier this year. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 





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BP scales back green targets as profits hit record

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Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the windfall tax struck the “right balance” between helping families with the cost of living and securing the UK’s energy supplies. He said its aim was to encourage re-investment of the sector’s profits back into the economy



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Landmark national security trial of Hong Kong democracy activists begins. Here's what you need to know

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Some were seasoned politicians and veteran protest leaders. Others were academics, unionists and health care workers. They hailed from different generations and held a range of political views, but were brought together by what they say was a shared commitment to Hong Kong’s democratic future.



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Texas deputies stop driver hauling 13 illegal immigrants wearing camouflage clothing

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Deputies in Zavala County, Texas, caught nearly two dozen illegal immigrants during four separate traffic stops early Sunday, including 13 migrants smuggled in a pickup truck while cloaked in camouflage clothing, authorities said.

In total, the sheriff’s office said it apprehended 22 illegal immigrants, while 10 others fled after bailing from the vehicles.

In one case, the sheriff’s office said a deputy stopped a black Chevy pickup for a traffic violation on U.S. 57 east of La Pryor. As the deputy went to speak with the driver, he spotted multiple individuals wearing camouflage clothing lying in the bed of the truck.

The deputy then found more individuals inside the vehicle with the driver, who claimed they were all her cousins, according to officials.

ARIZONA BORDER PATROL: MAN TAKES OFF ON HORSEBACK AFTER SMUGGLING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS INTO US

Illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage were being smuggled into the country by a Texas woman on Highway 57, police said.

Illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage were being smuggled into the country by a Texas woman on Highway 57, police said. (Zavala County Sheriff’s Office)

The driver, Samantha Renee Dela Fuente of San Antonio, was charged with smuggling, FOX29 San Antonio reported. Officials said the 13 undocumented individuals were turned over to Uvalde Border Patrol.

In a second incident, a deputy pulled over a Chrysler van for a traffic violation. When the deputy exited his cruiser to approach the vehicle, it sped away and prompted a short pursuit.

Deputies found 13 illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage in a pickup truck.

Deputies found 13 illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage in a pickup truck. (Zavala County Sheriff’s Office)

The driver eventually bailed, and three illegal immigrants were apprehended. Deputies said five other undocumented individuals had fled the scene.

PATROL AGENTS TO TESTIFY AT BORDER CRISIS HEARING, AS HOUSE REPUBLICANS PUSH TO IMPEACH DHS SEC MAYORKAS

Deputies said two other illegal immigrants were found hidden in the back of an SUV during a traffic stop on U.S. 57 east of Batesville. The driver had bailed and fled.

Deputies arrested the driver, who was not immediately identified, and turned over the illegal immigrants to Border Patrol officials.

Deputies arrested the driver, who was not immediately identified, and turned over the illegal immigrants to Border Patrol officials. (Zavala County Sheriff’s Office)

A fourth traffic stop on a blue Chevy Malibu resulted in another short chase until the driver and other individuals bailed from the vehicle into the brush at the West Wind Ranch, the sheriff’s office said.

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Deputies apprehended three individuals while about five other suspected illegal immigrants escaped.

All the apprehended illegal immigrants were turned over to Border Patrol, the sheriff’s office said.



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