The judge’s decision describes the “evil” crimes of Michael Avenatti

Now convicted felon and federal prisoner Michael Avenatti appears on CNN in 2020 and talks about a possible presidential bid

Michael Avenatti appears on CNN in July 2018 to discuss a possible run for the Democratic nomination for US President. (Screenshot via CNN)

The judge who sentenced Michael Avenati to 14 years in prison on Monday explains his reasoning in a new 20-page order that describes not exactly why the disgraced lawyer’s sentence is so harsh – but why it is lenient.

“As with most people, there is an ability to do a great deal of good on an individual level or even on a national or global level. But there is also the ability to do great evil by willfully causing great harm to others through greed, arrogance, lies, recklessness, and blindness. As mentioned above, Avenatti has done many noble and good things in his life, some of which are reflected in this case. But he also did great evil for which he must answer.” Senior US District Judge James V Selna wrote as his last comment. “His actions in this case and the relevant conduct demonstrate a breach of some of the most fundamental principles of fairness. This is all the more tragic given that he received an excellent education and achieved academic excellence, was given challenging opportunities in major law firms and had the opportunity to build a number of his own successful law firms. It is now time for him to pay his debts to his victims, the government and society in general.”

The 20-page order accounts for any amend-ment to the sentence Selna imposed on Avenatti for stealing millions of dollars from clients in a year-long scam that turned his Newport Beach law firm into a Ponzi scheme.

It also explains why Selna ordered the sentence to begin only after Avenatti completed his sentences from New York for attempting to blackmail Nike and for cheating on the client that made him a famous adult film star Has Stormy Danielsa term currently scheduled to expire on January 27, 2026. Prosecutors recommended a consecutive conviction, but the US Parole Board recommended a concurrent conviction.

Avenatti also called for a six-year concurrent sentence, argued with Selna while proselytizing during Monday’s three-hour hearing, and then pleaded for clemency and another chance at life during the standard assignment that criminal defendants be admitted at sentencing. Avenatti had received a preliminary ruling from the judge giving his opinion on the verdict, and Selna said at the start of the hearing that he was expecting 168 months.

The final verdict states that Avenatti’s crimes in the California case “committed before Avenatti began his term in the New York cases, and the court may, at its discretion, award a concurrent, partially concurrent, or consequent sentence.” The court imposes the sentence on an ongoing basis.”

READ :  Can you use AI to frame arguments in court in BC?

“One of the usual bases for a concurrent conviction is missing here: the present case is not relevant conduct to his conviction in New York,” Selna wrote.

The hearing showed that Selna’s focus in considering Avenatti’s sentence was not why Avenatti’s sentence was so long, but how he could justify handing down a sentence well below the standard range set by the US Sentencing Commission. The judge’s order explains why Avenatti should receive more jail time because his victims suffered severe financial damage from Avenatti’s crimes and because they were vulnerable.

Avenatti “acknowledges the wrongfulness of his conduct when he asserts that the ‘nature of the attorney-client relationship allows for an inherent unequal power dynamic,'” Selna wrote. “He understood this unequal dynamic and still took advantage of his clients.”

However, the judge did not agree with all of the prosecutors’ recommendations, including that Avenatti should not be credited for taking responsibility. Selna dismissed her argument, writing, “When Avenatti assigned, he admitted all the essential elements of the crimes he pleaded.”

“The government’s belief that Avenatti should have admitted more does not diminish the sufficiency of what he admitted,” the order said.

Selna also contradicted a tweet Avenatti wrote after one Los Angeles Times Article about his cheating on Gardner warranted an increase in his sentence for obstruction of justice. But he concluded other factors supported the improvement, including Avenatti’s forgery of his former legal partner Michael Eagan‘s signature in the US bankruptcy court and his perjury in judgment debt trials.

A 2003 George W Bush Appointed and former longtime partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Selna also quickly found that Avenatti deserved more time because he was in a position of trust as an attorney when he committed his crimes.

Prior to 2005, Selna should have sentenced Avenatti in accordance with the standard range associated with his final “attack level” under US Sentencing Commission guidelines, which the judge calculated would be at least 262 months, nearly 22 years. But the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling United States vs Booker allows judges to sentence outside of the guidelines established by the U.S. Sentencing Commission on various grounds, and Selna quoted them in detail while explaining his departure at 168 months, including mentioning that Avenatti’s mother “once physically assaulted him.”

“The court takes into account his long and distinguished career and the many positive results he has achieved for his clients. The court considers his significant charitable activities. The court takes into account his difficult childhood and his persistence in continuing his education by working full-time,” Selna wrote.

READ :  Convicted of Michelle Martinko’s murder, Manchester man asks Iowa Supreme Court to toss case

The order quoted Booksand said Selna is exercising its discretion within the judgment, “but in entering the present judgment, the court recognizes that the court’s final decision as to whether a judgment is in or out of policy is a reflection of its discretion. “

Through his on-call attorney H. Dean Steward, Avenatti appealed the verdict to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also objected to any “release of any decision, statement or memorandum after the sentencing” and said his notice of appeal stripped Selna of jurisdiction. The judge quickly dismissed it, calling it “frivolous and patently obstructive.”

“An appeal filed after the court has announced a decision, judgment, or order — but prior to the entry of the judgment or order — will be treated as filed on the date and after the entry,” the order reads . “The appeal notice is currently ineffective.”

Avenatti’s sacrifice Alexis Gardner and Geoffrey Johnson spoke at his sentencing. Gregory Barela lives outside of California and did not participate. Avenatti’s fourth victim, cosmetics manager Michelle Fanwere also in court, but no one spoke.

Tran hired Avenatti at the height of his fame to negotiate Phan’s departure from Ipsy, a cosmetics company she built after rising to fame and hosting makeup tutorials on YouTube.

Gardner was living in her car when Avenatti started representing her in an argument with her ex-boyfriend, an NBA player Hassan Whiteside. He negotiated a $2.75 million settlement with Whiteside for reasons that have not been publicly disclosed, but as established at the trial, he never sent Gardner her share of the money.

Instead, he used $2.5 million to buy a jet with another client, which was seized by federal authorities after his arrest in March 2019, and then regularly spent much smaller amounts of money on Gardner while telling her that Whiteside and his team wrongly withheld the money.

Johnson is Avenatti’s previous victim, having hired him to sue Los Angeles County in November 2011 after becoming a quadriplegic during a suicide attempt in prison following abuse by guards and inmates. Avenatti secured a $4 million settlement in 2015 and then paid Johnson between $900 and $1,900 every month for four years while lying to him about the status of the settlement. Johnson lost his Social Security benefits after Avenatti failed to respond to the bureau’s questions about the settlement.

READ :  Attorney General Ellison, GOP challenger Schultz clash over crime, role of office in MPR debate - Duluth News Tribune

Barela, on the other hand, is a businessman whom Avenatti awarded a $1.6 million settlement in a civil lawsuit. But like Johnson and Gardner, Avenatti never gave Barela his share of the money. Instead, he lied to Barela for months while Barela continued to spend time at his law firm and host a watch party for Avenatti’s appearance on the news show 60 minutes in 2018.

Avenatti admitted cheating on Johnson, Gardner, Barela and Phan as he pleaded guilty to four-wire fraud charges.

He argued the total loss amount was less than $3.5 million but assistant US attorneys Brett Sagel and Ranee Katzenstein said he should be fined $12.35 million, the full amount of the settlements.

However, reimbursement for each client was limited to the amount of money due to them under their attorney-client agreement with Avenatti. That means Phan is owed $4 million, Johnson just under $1.6 million, Gardner $1.47 million, and Barela $633,341.

Selna’s order explains the refund while dismissing Avenatti’s argument that the total loss amount for his fraud “should be offset against the fees and costs set out in his client agreements.”

“He ignores the fact that an attorney’s conduct can forfeit his fees,” Selna wrote. The judge later said: “His objections to some of the conditions are not well received. According to his own statements, Avenatti owes millions in restitution. An injunction to apply all sources of income to that obligation could not be more closely related to healing the harm here.”

Avenatti was plagued by financial inadequacies when he burst onto the national political stage as Daniels’ attorney in 2018, touting himself as Trump’s main opponent while attracting a fan base within the Democratic Party that urged him to run for the US presidency in to consider. Daniels’ trial noted how Avenatti quickly formed a friendship Luke JanklowSon of the legendary powerful late literary agent Morton Janklow and head of Janklow & Nesbit in New York.

Janklow brokered Daniel’s book deal, but he gave Avenatti a much larger deal that resulted in only a partial payment for reasons not stated at trial. Janklow testified that he was introduced to Avenatti by CNN Anderson Coopera longtime close friend of Janklow who told him Avenatti had his own star power.

Daniels is currently suing Janklow in the Southern District of New York for breach of contract in connection with his decision to send her payments to Avenatti instead of to her.

Read Judge Selna’s full order here.

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *