Feb 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Michael Avenatti found guilty of stealing from Stormy Daniels

Michael Avenatti, attorney and founding partner of Eagan Avenatti LP, arrives at federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022
Michael Avenatti arrives at federal court in New York on Feb. 3, 2022. Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday of charges that he stole nearly $300,000 from porn actor Stormy Daniels, AP reports.

Driving the news: Jurors convicted Avenatti of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for instructing Daniels’s literary agent to send him $300,000 that belonged to Daniels for her book, "Full Disclosure," about an alleged affair with former president Donald Trump.

  • Avenatti, who represented himself, had pleaded not guilty, arguing that the evidence against him was insufficient. The jury, which deliberated over three days, sided with federal prosecutors, ABC News reports.
  • "The defendant was a lawyer who stole from his own client. She thought he was her advocate, but he betrayed her," assistant U.S. attorney Robert Sobelman said, per ABC News.
  • "He told lies to cover it all up, lies he told to try to get away with it," Sobelman said.

The big picture: The verdict is the latest blow to the now-disgraced lawyer, who was a frequent guest on cable news shows, and who last year was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for trying to extort Nike out of more than $20 million.

  • Avenatti, once considered a rising Democratic star, and a potential 2020 candidate, is also awaiting a retrial in Los Angeles for charges that he defrauded clients and others for millions of dollars, per AP.

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