Federal Judge Rejects Michael Avenatti’s Request to Wear a Suit to His Sentencing

Law & Crime report

Disgraced high-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti will not be allowed to wear a suit at an upcoming hearing where he is scheduled to be sentenced for defrauding his then-client, Donald Trump adversary Stormy Daniels, of money she was owed from a book deal.

“Application DENIED,” a rubber-stamped letter motion filed Wednesday read. The motion was signed by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, who is overseeing Avenatti’s case in the Southern District of New York.

Avenatti’s lawyers had asked for permission to wear a suit to his sentencing.

“We write to respectfully request that the Court endorse this application and direct the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and the United States Marshals Service to accept one blue suit, a blue dress shirt, a white undershirt, a tie, dress shoes (without laces), and dress socks for Michael Avenatti to wear at his upcoming sentencing proceeding on June 2, 2022,” the letter, signed by Assistant Federal Defenders Robert M. BaumTamara L. Giwa, and Andrew J. Dalack said. “The defense asserts that the significance of Mr. Avenatti’s sentencing proceeding would be better served if the Court allowed him to dress appropriately for the appearance, which will include his personal statement to the Court.”

Furman, a Barack Obama appointee, is set to sentence Avenatti on Thursday following his jury conviction in February for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Avenatti schemed to defraud Daniels—real name Stephanie Clifford—of money she was owed from a book contract with St. Martin’s Press, who published Daniels’ memoir, titled “Full Disclosure.” Avenatti had rocketed to fame—and briefly became a darling of the left—when he started representing Daniels, who has starred in pornographic films, in her effort to be released from a non-disclosure agreement that stopped her from publicly discussing her alleged affair with Trump.

In a sentencing memo, Avenatti’s lawyers have requested a sentence of 36 months and one day in prison: 12 months and one day on the wire fraud count, and 24 months on the identity theft count. Prosecutors, meanwhile, have requested that Furman impose a “substantial but below guidelines” sentence for wire fraud, and 24 months for identity theft.

According to prosecutors, the sentencing guidelines suggest a range of 65 to 75 months in prison, although the defense disputes that range and appears poised to argue its position at sentencing.

Both parties asked that the first sentence, on the wire fraud count, run concurrently—meaning, at the same time as—the 30-month sentence he received in a different federal court in New York for his conviction in July of 2021 for attempting to extort Nike, Inc. and for defrauding a client.

Furman had previously ordered that Avenatti be transported by June 6 to California, where he is facing trial for allegedly stealing from several clients and engaging in tax and bankruptcy fraud

That trial is set to start in July.

‘Application DENIED’: Federal Judge Rejects Michael Avenatti’s Request to Wear a Suit to His Sentencing