© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former legal professional Michael Avenatti makes his means via a crowd of reports cameras as he arrives at the USA Courthouse throughout his felony trial in Manhattan in New York Metropolis, New York, U.S., January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Pho

By Luc Cohen and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame for taking over then-U.S. President Donald Trump earlier than a string of felony costs ended his authorized profession, was convicted on Friday of defrauding a former shopper, porn star Stormy Daniels.

Avenatti, who faces as much as 22 years behind bars, had pleaded not responsible to embezzling practically $300,000 in guide proceeds supposed for Daniels.

The decision by a federal jury in Manhattan adopted a two-week trial wherein the brash, 50-year-old lawyer represented himself.

Avenatti, who relies in Los Angeles, agreed to give up to U.S. marshals in California on Monday. Sentencing was scheduled for Could 24.

Following the decision, Avenatti, who was sporting a black masks and a go well with with a diamond-patterned tie, switched his gaze backwards and forwards between the jury and down on the desk he was sitting at.

He vowed to attraction.

“I’m very dissatisfied within the jury’s verdict,” Avenatti stated. “I’m wanting ahead to a full adjudication of all the problems on attraction.”

It was the second time in two years that Avenatti was convicted on federal costs in Manhattan. “Somewhat than advise his purchasers of their finest pursuits, Avenatti as an alternative used his legislation diploma as a license to steal,” U.S. Lawyer Damian Williams stated in an announcement.

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Daniels, the prosecution’s star witness https://www.reuters.com/world/us/porn-star-stormy-daniels-testifies-against-fallen-lawyer-michael-avenatti-2022-01-27, testified that Avenatti had led her to consider her writer had not disbursed advance funds totaling $297,500 for her memoir, “Full Disclosure,” when she requested in 2018 and early 2019 in regards to the delays.

She stated she later realized that Avenatti had diverted the cash to an account he managed, with out telling her.

“I felt very betrayed and silly,” Daniels stated. “Michael had been mendacity and stealing from me.”

In an announcement following the decision, Daniels’ lawyer, Clark Brewster, stated his shopper was “relieved this nightmare is over.”

“Mr. Avenatti possessed the uncanny skill to steadfastly deny the crimes and persuade others he was entitled to the embezzled funds,” Brewster stated. “Stormy is happy that the justice system labored.”

Avenatti had downplayed the dispute as a disagreement over authorized charges. He stated his contract with Daniels, 42, whose given identify is Stephanie Clifford, entitled him to an affordable share of her guide and media proceeds.

Avenatti referred to as no witnesses https://www.reuters.com/authorized/litigation/avenatti-does-not-plan-testify-his-defense-stormy-daniels-us-fraud-case-2022-01-31 and didn’t testify in his personal protection. Requested after the decision whether or not he regretted his determination to symbolize himself, he stated, “No. Under no circumstances.”

The spotlight of the trial was Avenatti’s five-hour cross-examination of Daniels, the place he sought to undermine his former shopper’s credibility by exposing her curiosity in paranormal actions https://www.reuters.com/world/us/michael-avenatti-cross-examines-ex-client-stormy-daniels-his-fraud-trial-2022-01-28.

Daniels, who’s producing a documentary-style TV present on ghost searching referred to as “Spooky Babes,” testified that she believed she might converse with the useless.

The spectacle of Avenatti questioning Daniels capped a public falling-out for a pair who grew to become cable TV mainstays in 2018 for instances they introduced in opposition to Trump.

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Daniels is understood for receiving $130,000 in hush cash from Trump’s former private lawyer, Michael Cohen, in change for remaining quiet forward of the 2016 election about sexual encounters she says she had with Trump, which he has denied.

Avenatti was profitable in releasing Daniels from her nondisclosure settlement with Trump.

He gained widespread recognition via frequent tv appearances that made him a hero to some Trump opponents, prompting him to flirt with working for the White Home as a Democrat in 2020 in opposition to the Republican president.

However Avenatti was hit with dozens of felony costs in March and April 2019 accusing him of dishonest Daniels, defrauding a number of different purchasers, making an attempt to extort as much as $25 million from Nike Inc (NYSE:), and different crimes.

He’s interesting his conviction and 2-1/2-year jail sentence within the Nike case in New York. A federal courtroom trial in California over the opposite alleged shopper frauds, wherein Avenatti additionally represented himself, led to a mistrial. The remaining costs have but to be tried.

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