Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who twice filed lawsuits against the NFL, has suffered a dramatic fall.
On Thursday, Avenatti received a 30-month prison sentence following a scheme to extort Nike of up to $25 million.
Judge Paul Gardephe deviated well below the bottom of the nine-year term suggested by the sentencing guidelines. The judge gave Avenatti a lesser sentence due in part to the fact that lawyer Mark Geragos (another high-profile lawyer with a history of NFL litigation, including the Colin Kaepernick case) served as “a central figure in the criminal conduct” and that Geragos never faced charges.
But that’s just the beginning for Avenatti. He faces two other federal prosecutions based on allegedly swindling clients.
Avenatti filed class-action lawsuits after the Super Bowl XLV ticket debacle, when then-new Cowboys Stadium didn’t have seats available for the full scope of the tickets that had been sold for the game. He also represented a class of customers after the cancellation of the 2016 Hall of Fame game, due to a bungled effort to dry paint on the field before the game began.
More recently, Avenatti rode to nationwide fame and notoriety through his representation of Stormy Daniels, a porn actress who claims she received $130,000 in hush money from Donald Trump to cover up a prior affair. Avenatti reportedly stole $300,000 from Daniels. That case goes to trial next year.
Next week, Avenatti faces a trial on charges that he defrauded other clients out of millions of dollars, including one client who was a mentally ill paraplegic.