NEW YORK (Reuters) — Michael Avenatti, the brash lawyer who shot to fame representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Donald Trump before a swirl of criminal charges ended his legal career, was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison on Thursday for trying to extort Nike Inc.
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan said Avenatti, 50, “had become drunk on the power of his platform” in betraying his client, a youth basketball coach, for his own gain.
“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous,” Gardephe said. “He hijacked his client’s claims, and he used those claims to further his own agenda, which was to extort millions of dollars from Nike for himself.”
Avenatti was convicted for threatening to expose Nike’s alleged corrupt payments to families of college basketball prospects unless it forked over up to $25 million for him and another lawyer to conduct an internal probe.
Anvenatti promised to put Trump in jail, but it looks like he ended up there instead.