Michael Avenatti, dubbed “Creepy Porn Lawyer” by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, was found guilty of stealing about $300,000 from adult film star Stormy Daniels through book sales.
According to Fox News, he was found guilty of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in book royalties. The jury deliberated for almost 15 and a half hours before reaching the judgment on Friday afternoon.
The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in jail, while the required period of imprisonment for aggravated identity theft is two years.
Avenatti, who remained still as his destiny was read out, was then ordered to report to federal court officials in California by 5 p.m. on Monday. The date of his sentence was set on May 24.
Earlier on Thursday, jurors wrote a letter indicating that they were unable to reach an agreement on the wire fraud accusation.
Lawyers on both sides were arguing how to respond to the memo with U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman, who hinted he was tempted to just tell them to “keep at it.” He asked them to resume their talks, reminding the jurors of their pledge to work toward a verdict.
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Avenatti appeared suspicious and anxious during the court proceedings, and he was claimed to be fidgeting with his fingers. Avenatti also appeared in court to represent himself.
As the jury deliberated, Avenatti, who represented himself, told reporters, “The case isn’t as clear-cut as the prosecution wants everyone to believe.” “I was her champion and advocate.”
Everything was on the line for me. “I wanted to assist her,” he told the jurors. “Michael Avenatti could never have believed he had the right to be compensated, according to the government.”
That is absurd, and the evidence does not support it.” However, Assistant United States Attorney Robert Sobelman stated that Avenatti “became trapped in his own web of deceit,” and that there was a “mountain of evidence” against him.
“The defendant was a lawyer who cheated his own client.” “She felt he was her own champion, but he deceived her and fabricated lies to cover it all up,” he explained. “The defendant’s deception and betrayal were revealed.” He risks up to two decades in jail.