Michael Avenatti defrauding Stormy Daniels
NEW YORK: Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday of electronic fraud and aggravated identity theft for stealing from Stormy Daniels.
Avenatti has been found guilty of defrauding porn actress Stormy Daniels out of $300,000 she was supposed to get for writing about an alleged attempt with former President Donald Trump.
The jurors began deliberations on Wednesday afternoon and announced their verdict shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.
The decision came hours after the jury sent a note to the judge stating that one of the 12 panelists “refuses to consider the evidence” and “acts on feeling.”
Michael Avenatti convicted of aggravated identity theft for stealing from Stormy Daniels
Prosecutors allege Avenatti – who helped negotiate an $800,000 advance for Daniels’ October 2018 book Full Disclosure.
He defrauded his former client by directing her literary agent to send two of the advance payments totaling approximately $300,000 to an account that he, not directly to Daniels, controlled without her knowledge.
Avenatti had a face-to-face confrontation with Daniels, his ex-client renouncing his attorney and deciding to represent himself shortly after the trial began, appearing in a new role as a star witness.
Avenatti’s sentencing is scheduled for May 24.
And on Monday he must surrender to US Field Marshal forces in the Central District of California, where he faces a retrial for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from several agents.
He is also awaiting a retrial in Los Angeles on charges of stealing millions of dollars from clients and others.
He represented himself last year for six weeks before a false trial yielded.
Avenatti still faces other legal problems.
Prosecutors said Avenatti was trying to portray Daniels as crazy – what they called a “victim blame” defense that failed to back up his claim that he owed money after spending millions of dollars on representing Daniels.
Avenatti argued at the conclusion of the two-week trial that the government had failed to prove its case.