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Prosecutors say Michael Avenatti should receive 17 years in prison for fraud

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LOS ANGELES — Convicted criminal and disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti must serve 17½ years in prison after pleading guilty this year to bank fraud and tax violations in California, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The recommendation was contained in a 303 page sentencing memo filed by the U.S. law firm for Central California.

The sentence would run consecutively with a four-year sentence handed down in a separate New York case involving former adult film actor Stormy Daniels.

Avenatti, who once represented Daniels, was found guilty in February of stealing $300,000 of the $800,000 advance Daniels had paid for her book “Full Disclosure,” which details an affair she had with Donald Trump before his death. became president.

In the California case, Avenatti admitted to pocketing millions of dollars belonging to customers and lying about it, prosecutors said when he pleaded guilty in June.

As the owner of Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee, Avenatti admitted to holding $5 million in payroll taxes.

A sentencing note submitted by a lawyer for Avenatti asked for a maximum prison sentence of three years, followed by three years of supervised release.

The memo acknowledged that Avenatti interfered with the IRS and “misappropriated four of its legal clients, repeatedly misled them and violated their trust.” But Avenatti should be “treated and convicted on the basis of his life as a whole over the past 51 years, not his fame,” the filing said.

The verdict is scheduled for November 7.

In a separate case, Avenatti was convicted in February 2020 of racketeering and other crimes after threatening to ruin Nike’s reputation unless it agreed to pay him and his client millions of dollars. He was sentenced to 2½ years in prison.

Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles and Tim Stelloh from Alameda, California.

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