Michael Avenatti cries in court as he is sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for Nike extortion
Michael Avenatti was sentenced Thursday to just 30 months in prison for a brazen scheme to extort athletic apparel giant Nike out of up to $25 million.
That sentence was much lower than the nine years that was the bottom of the sentencing range suggested by federal guidelines, and not anywhere close to “a substantial” prison term sought by federal prosecutors.
“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous,” said Judge Paul Gardephe said in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he also sentenced Avenatti to three years of supervised release. He hijacked his client’s claims, and he used him to further his own agenda, which was to extort Nike millions of dollars for himself.”
“Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived the power of his platform to be.”
But Gardephe added that Avenatti deserved a lighter sentence than what was recommended by federal because,the judge said, “Mr. Avenatti has expressed what I believe to be severe remorse today.”