Disgraced anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti pleaded guilty to a tax charge, as well as four counts of wire fraud, in a case out of Southern California where he was accused of scamming his clients out of millions of dollars, on Thursday. The plea could result in up to 83 years in prison for the former attorney.
The Daily Wire reports:
Avenatti is currently serving out a five-year sentence in California after he was convicted in New York in two cases. He is representing himself in the California case and stated earlier this week that he desired to switch his plea in order to keep his family from being embarrassed more than they have been, though he didn’t come to a deal with federal prosecutors.
The prosecutors alleged that Avenatti cheated his clients out of vast sums of money by garnering settlement funds on their behalf and channeling the funds to accounts handled by him. In 2019, he was charged with a 36-count indictment of crimes involving tax and wire fraud.
He was originally set to be sentenced at a hearing on September 19, but if federal prosecutors end up taking him to trial on the leftover counts, he will likely be sentenced at another date on all of the counts post-trial. The government stated that it is anticipating letting the court know what it plans to do on Monday.
For scams related to the wire fraud counts, the federal government estimated that the correct amount of restitution to the victims is $9 million, but Avenatti argued it is “drastically less” than that amount.
Avenatti is currently not allowed to practice law in California. He became famous after representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels and appearing on the news media speaking out against former President Donald Trump.