Michael Avenatti Ordered to Pay $148,750 in Restitution to Stormy Daniels

By Reuters
September 24, 2022New York
Michael Avenatti Ordered to Pay $148,750 in Restitution to Stormy Daniels
Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti walks out of a New York court house after a hearing in a case where he is accused of stealing $300,000 from a former client, adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in New York on July 23, 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—Former attorney Michael Avenatti was ordered on Friday to pay $148,750 in restitution to his best-known client, porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Avenatti, 51, was convicted by a Manhattan federal jury in February of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for embezzling $297,500 in book proceeds from Daniels, who testified that Avenatti “stole from me and lied to me.”

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in June sentenced Avenatti to four years in prison, calling his conduct “brazen and egregious.”

The sentence also required Avenatti to forfeit the $297,500, but the restitution is lower because he repaid some of the money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Avenatti is appealing the conviction and sentence.

Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti
Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) and Michael Avenatti (R), attorney for Stormy Daniels, speak to the media as they exit the United States District Court Southern District of New York on April 16, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Lawyers for Avenatti and Daniels did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Before the trial, Avenatti had already been serving a 2.5-year sentence after being convicted in 2020 of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc.

Avenatti was also ordered to pay $259,800.50 in restitution to Nike, but the athletic wear company agreed that his individual victims could get paid first.

Parts of the prison sentences run concurrently, and Avenatti is expected to serve a total of five years behind bars.

He also faces a scheduled Nov. 7 sentencing in California after pleading guilty in June to five federal charges there, including four counts of wire fraud for defrauding clients.

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