Andrew Cullen | Reuters
New York prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to order California attorney Michael Avenatti to begin serving a 2.5-year sentence, more than a year after he was found guilty of attempting extort up to $ 25 million from Nike.
Avenatti, 50, was initially allowed to postpone his report in jail because he was tried days later in California on charges of defrauding customers and others there. This trial ended in an annulment.
The uncertain timing of when Avenatti will be retried in California means that is no longer a valid excuse to delay reporting in jail, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said in a letter to the judge who sentenced Avenatti in July.
Avenatti gained notoriety in 2018 when he represented pornstar Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against then-President Donald Trump. He appeared frequently on cable TV programs.
Prosecutors noted that a Nov. 2 retrial date was recently postponed and problems in a federal appeals court in San Francisco could delay it by several months.
âIn light of the above, there is no longer a distinct and precise reason in time for the prolonged delay in the delivery of the defendant. Further, it is in the interests of justice that the defendant begin serving the sentence of incarceration this Court has imposed for his serious offenses, including defrauding his client, âprosecutors wrote.
In the Nike case, Avenatti was representing a coach of the California Amateur Basketball League when prosecutors said he threatened to use his media access to scramble the names of the sportswear giants if he was not paying him millions of dollars.
Lawyers for Avenatti did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Friday.
In 2019, federal prosecutors in New York City accused Avenatti of defrauding Daniels by failing to pay him the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to him under a book deal. Avenatti, who had pleaded not guilty, is due to stand trial on the charges in January.