One Last Season of Freedom: Avanatti to be Released From Prison for 90 Days Due to Coronavirus; Will Stay With Friend in California

One last taste of (partial) freedom is coming for convicted fraudster and disgraced and disbarred attorney, Michael Avenatti.

United States District Court Judge for the Central District of California Judge James V. Selna ruled Saturday that Avenatti will be temporarily released from prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Avenatti was convicted in February of attempting to extort $25 million from Nike and is awaiting sentencing.

Judge Selna

Aventatti will get out of the Manhattan Correctional Center for 90 days to ride out the pandemic.

He was first required to be held in quarantine at the jail facility for 14 days to ensure he doesn’t have the virus and can’t spread it into the community, the judge said. Avenatti is on day 10 of his two-week quarantine.

When his quarantine is over, he’s off to stay at his friend, writer Jay Manheimer’s house in Venice, California.
Jay Manheimer, a friend indeed.
Avenatti has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan since January after Judge Selna revoked his bail earlier this year, finding he engaged in suspicious financial transactions.

Avenatti’s attorney, Dean Steward, argued that Avenatti needed to be released because he is at high-risk of COVID-19 because he had pneumonia last fall.

Avenatti told his attorney “there have been four deaths (in the jail) due to coronavirus,” but the Bureau of Prisons would not confirm that, Steward said.

“Importantly, however, the MCC in New York City has no more coronavirus test kits. As such, the facility has no idea how many inmates or staff are infected,” Steward said.

The judge required Avenatti to post a $1 million bond, wear an electronic monitoring device and shelter in place in  California. The judge also ordered Avenatti not to open bank accounts or credit cards or use computers and the internet during his release.

Another Avenatti friend, investment advisory firm CEO Hugh Bromma, has agreed to put up the bail money.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe was scheduled to sentence Avenatti on his Nike conviction on June 17.

The convictions for attempted extortion and honest services fraud carry a combined potential penalty of 42 years in prison.  The “good news” is that his sentence is likely to be less than the maximum. The “Bad news” is that Avenatti faces two other federal criminal cases.

He has been charged with stealing a $300,000 book advance from former client, Stormy Daniels. He was due to go on trial for that case on May 19 in New York City.

Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti Break Up On Twitter
The relationship soured between Stormy Daniels and her lawyer Michael Avenatti after she alleged he stole $300,000 from her.

He is also charged with stealing millions from various clients in California and with tax evasion.

Judge Selna previously moved his California trial date from May 19 to Aug. 18 because no trials are being held during the pandemic.

Avenatti, who rose to national fame when he represented Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, also had plans to run for president in 2020 as a Democrat.

Avenatti will have to return to custody in 90 days and, if he is convicted on the other two cases, he will quite likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

He rose like a meteor, and though he was stealing from his clients left and right, he was a darling of the anti-Trump media.

This is perhaps his last, brief taste of freedom, a moment in the sun – in Venice California, outside the confines of prison.

May he make the most of it. It will no doubt be bittersweet.

Avenatti 2020 For President Poster | TeeShirtPalace
Most political observers agree that Michael Avenatti’s chances for winning the presidency in 2020 are slim.


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Frank Parlato

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3 years ago

Avanatti should be thankful. Now he will have 90 days for his asshole to heal. Just in time for a brokered democrap convention. He still is in the running for at least VP

3 years ago

Joe O’Hara got his wish.
Should Allison Mack – Or Anyone Else – Be Sentenced to Federal Prison in the Middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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