Michael Avenatti was just sentenced to 30 months in his Nike extortion scheme case.
A very emotional Avenatti appeared in court Thurdsay in NYC where the sentence was handed down, on top of the 30 months, he’ll also have 3 years of supervised release. The sentence is light considering the recommended sentence was 108-135 months … a recommendation the judge called “excessive.”
Avenatti addressed the court during the hearing, having to stop several times while he fought through tears. At one point, he said, “I betrayed my profession. I became driven by the things that don’t matter in life. Over the last 2 years, I have often thought to myself, why did this need to happen? What lessons am I supposed to learn from this experience, from what I’ve done?”
He continued, “Your honor, I’ve learned that all the fame, notoriety and money in the world is meaningless. TV & Twitter mean nothing. Everyone wants to ride in a limo with you but very few are willing to sit next to you on the bus.”
The disgraced attorney was given a surrender date of September 15.
As we reported … Avenatti was arrested and charged with trying to extort $20 million out of Nike. The feds had claimed the infamous lawyer told Nike’s legal team that if they didn’t pay him between $15 million and $25 million he would hold a news conference and allege misconduct by employees at the shoe company.
According to the criminal complaint … Avenatti had demanded Nike hire him to conduct an internal probe for the enormous salary. Prosecutors said Avenatti was repping a client who was the coach of an AAU basketball team. They said Avenatti gave Nike the option to not hire him but pay $22.5 million to resolve the dispute and buy his silence.
Prosecutors would later allege the Nike scheme played out over the course of a few days back in March 2019. Prosecutors said Avenatti repped an AAU coach whose team had just lost a Nike sponsorship worth $72k a year.
The coach had claimed Nike made payments to families of some HS basketball players … and Avenatti had allegedly demanded payment from the shoe giant to keep him quiet.
Avenatti was ultimately arrested at the location where he was supposed to meet with Nike brass … presumably to iron out a deal or keep the convo going.
Prosecutors also have conversations and video recordings … in which they allege Avenatti made threats. Avenatti also allegedly told Nike he had them by “the balls.”
Avenatti’s also facing fraud charges after prosecutors in California claim he embezzled client money to cover expenses for his coffee corporation. He’s also alleged to have committed bank fraud by submitting false tax returns to get $4.1 million in loans.