(AP) — Michael Avenatti
should be imprisoned for no more than six months after a jury found him guilty of attempting to extort $25 million from sportswear giant Nike
, his lawyers told a judge
Wednesday, claiming the once-famous California
attorney faces constant mockery following his "cataclysmic fall."
The lawyers wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed in Manhattan
federal court that Avenatti had already suffered enough from his three-month stint in prison after his bail was revoked last year, as well as public ridicule. Sentencing is set for June 30.
According to Avenatti's lawyers, the Probation Department calculated federal sentencing guidelines to call for a sentence of 11 to 14 years in prison, but no more than six months in prison and a year in home confinement were appropriate.
They claimed that Nike and a man he once represented as he negotiated with Nike had not lost money
as a result of the crime
, and that a repeat would be impossible because Avenatti will never practice law again.
“Avenatti’s epic fall and public shaming has played out in front of the entire world,” they wrote. “The Court may take judicial notice of this fact, as Avenatti’s cataclysmic fall has been well-documented. He is openly mocked by the former President
of the United States
and his preferred media
outlets, to the glee of millions of the former President’s followers and supporters.”
“He cannot go anywhere in public without inducing and subjecting himself to vitriolic comments and abuse, and these circumstances would deter anyone in Avenatti’s shoes from engaging in similar conduct,” the lawyers added.
Avenatti, 50, rose to prominence in 2018 when he represented porn star Stormy Daniels
in lawsuits filed against then-President Donald Trump
In 2019, he was arrested in the Nike extortion
case and charged in federal court in Los Angeles
with defrauding former clients and others of millions of dollars. Months later, he was charged with defrauding Daniels of hundreds of thousands of dollars she owed for a book deal
. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is awaiting trial
in the other cases.
At the height of the first wave of the coronavirus
in U.S. prisons last year, he was released in April
to home confinement from the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan after claiming he was uniquely vulnerable following a bout with pneumonia six months earlier and complaining that a cellmate had recently been removed with flu-like symptoms including a severe fever and coughing.
Prosecutors declined to comment through a spokesperson, and their own sentencing recommendations are expected later this month.