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 September 1, 2023

Michael Avenatti loses major appeal that would have reduced his prison time

It's difficult to believe, at this point, that disgraced former high-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti was once a presidential candidate promoted by many in the mainstream media. 

Avenatti's life is much different now as he faces ongoing legal woes, prison time, and a major loss in his latest effort to convince a court to reduce his jail sentence for his case involving the extortion of Nike for millions of dollars, Fox News reported.

Fox News noted:

In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Avenatti's conviction in the case and ruled against his claims that jurors weren’t properly instructed in the relevant statute. The appeals panel also rejected Avenatti's argument that the evidence in the case didn't support his charges of extortion and honest-services fraud.

Avenatti's latest defeat comes just three years after he was convicted in the case of "extortion, wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort."

A jury at the time decided that the disgraced lawyer "illegally tried to have Nike pay him up to $25 million to conduct an investigation of corruption in basketaball a year earlier," noting that the jury also considered the fact that Avenatti was up to his ears in debt.

"Today a unanimous jury found Michael Avenatti guilty of misusing his client’s information in an effort to extort tens of millions of dollars from the athletic apparel company Nike," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in 2020.

He added, "While the defendant may have tried to hide behind legal terms and a suit and tie, the jury clearly saw the defendant’s scheme for what it was – an old fashioned shakedown."

Fox New reported that the court promptly shot down his appeal, essentially saying that his argument simply wasn't enough to persuade the court's opinion on his previous conviction.

"Avenatti’s sufficiency challenge to the extortion counts of conviction fails because the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, permitted a reasonable jury to conclude that he had no claim of right to a personal payment from Nike, let alone to a $15-25 million payment," the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its decision.

It added, "Avenatti advances several arguments in urging a contrary conclusion... None persuades."

Given his extreme unpopularity all around, Avenatti was torched across social media in the wake of the court's ruling.

"What’s amazing also is that it must have been quite a bit of work for Avenatii to put together all the paperwork etc to do all this phony legal work to defraud these people when he could have made money just doing things the right way!" one X user wrote.

Avenatti's going to spend quite a bit of time behind bars, it seems.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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