Pugnacious California attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for defrauding Stormy Daniels when he represented her in litigation against former President Donald Trump.

Michael Avenatti

The disgraced lawyer faced two to 20 years for stealing Daniels’ book advance payments in 2018 totaling more than $300,000.

Avenatti, who was already serving time for trying to shakedown Nike for more than $20 million, dumped his lawyers on the trial’s second day and moved to represent himself against criminal charges.

Government prosecutors had asked Judge Jesse Furman to sentence Avenatti to four years. He sought a lesser term of three years and one day, to run concurrently with his 21/2 year sentence in the Nike case.

“Avenatti stole from his client. He did so to support his own business and fund his own lifestyle. He did so despite presenting himself to the world as his client’s champion and defender and despite using that feigned credibility to secure fame and pursue political influence,” reads an excerpt of the government’s sentencing letter filed May 26.

“And he did so by exploiting his position of trust and authority as an attorney, by forging his client’s signature, and by lying to his client and others repeatedly and callously for months.”


The feds debunked parts of the 51-year-old’s closing argument at trial.

They said the first words out of Avenatti’s mouth were untrue when he told the jury, “When my father was a teenager, he sold hot dogs at a ballpark.”

“In fact, the defendant’s father, William John Avenatti, was an executive for Anheuser-Busch,” the government wrote. “The tale instead is one that the defendant’s standby counsel, who was to deliver the summation before the defendant determined to proceed pro se, has told at trials in this District about his own experience selling hotdogs at Shea Stadium,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Podolsky.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, testified for the prosecution and maintained a calm demeanor under cross-examination by her former lawyer. The bulldog barrister took a leaf out of Trump’s playbook and sought to portray her as an untrustworthy, delusional woman with a grudge.

He tried to argue the advance money for her memoir “Full Disclosure,” which detailed her alleged affair with Trump, was rightfully his.

“‘Attorney and client agree that attorney shall be entitled’ – you understood that that meant that I would be entitled if those things occurred, right?” Avenatti asked Daniels on Jan. 28.

“You’re very entitled, yes,” Daniels said.

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