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Michael Avenatti, who Fox News host Tucker Carlson refers to as “Creepy Porn Lawyer,” has been found guilty of stealing around $300,000 from adult movie star Stormy Daniels on book sales.
He was found guilty of charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft of hundreds of thousands in book proceeds, Fox News reported.
The jury spent about 15 and a half hours deliberating before returning the verdict on Friday afternoon. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, while the aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory term of imprisonment of two years.
Avenatti – who stared straight ahead as his fate was read – was subsequently ordered to surrender to federal court officials in California no later than 5 p.m. on Monday. His sentencing date was scheduled for May 24.
Earlier on Thursday, jurors sent a note that they were unable to come to a consensus on the wire fraud charge. Lawyers on each side were discussing with U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman how to respond to the note, though Furman said he was inclined just to tell them to “keep at it.” He instructed them to continue their deliberations, reminding the jurors of the commitment they made to work toward a verdict.
“The case isn’t as clear-cut as the government wants everybody to believe, Avenatti, who represented himself, said to reporters as the jury deliberated.
“I was her advocate, I was her champion. I put everything on the line. I wanted to help her,” he said to the jury. “According to the government, Michael Avenatti could never have believed that he had the right to be paid. That is ludicrous, and it is not supported by the evidence.”
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Sobelman said that Avenatti “got tangled in his own web of lies,” and said there was a “mountain of evidence,” against him.
“The defendant was a lawyer who stole from his own client. She thought that he was her own advocate, but he betrayed her, and he told lies to try to cover it all up,” he said. “The defendant’s lies and betrayal were exposed.”
He faces a maximum of two decades in prison.
BREAKING: Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday of cheating porn actor Stormy Daniels out of nearly $300,000 she was supposed to get for writing a book about an alleged tryst with former president Donald Trump. https://t.co/ZGKLj7fw6n
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 4, 2022
BREAKING: Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti found GUILTY of bilking Stormy Daniels out of nearly $300K in book proceeds, Faces up to 20 Years in PRISON
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 4, 2022
Brian Stelter to Michael Avenatti: “And looking ahead to 2020, one reason I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”pic.twitter.com/lp9qrZ7ner
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) February 4, 2022
Michael Avenatti was just convicted of his second felony which means it’s time to remind the internet of when Ana Navarro compared him to the Holy Spirit.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 4, 2022
— New York Post (@nypost) February 4, 2022
BREAKING: Jury convicts Michael Avenatti on both counts — wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He faces up to 22 years in prison for stealing from former-client Stormy Daniels.
— Lauren del Valle (@Lauren_delvalle) February 4, 2022
He’s going to jail. @MichaelAvenatti found guilty.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) February 4, 2022
And … that’s a wrap! https://t.co/7XZ238CvyF
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) February 4, 2022