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Michael Avenatti convicted of stealing nearly $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels

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Photo (left): Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic; Photo (right): Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The lawyer who said he would take down former President Donald Trump has been convicted of stealing nearly $300,000 from his former client Stormy Daniels who sued the former president over payments to cover up an alleged extramarital relationship.

Michael Avenatti had been lauded by the media for his anti-Trump bravado, but he was far less boisterous on Friday when a jury in Manhattan declared him guilty of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors said that Avenatti had routed the money from Daniels' literary agent to an account he controlled. He had negotiated a $800,000 advance for a book entitled "Full Disclosure" by the porn star.

Avenatti made a brief statement to CNN outside of the courthouse.

"I'm very disappointed in the jury's verdict. I look forward to a full adjudication of all of the issues on appeal," Avenatti said.

Part of the evidence in the case rested on text messages between Daniels and Avenatti where she demanded to know where her money was, and he responded that he was "working on it."

Daniels first publicly turned on Avenatti in Nov. 2018, when she said that he had opened a crowdfunding account to pay for legal fees without her consent.

"He has spoken on my behalf without my approval," she said at the time. "He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent. Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said."

He is scheduled to receive sentencing the new charges on May 24.

Avenatti had previously been convicted in 2020 of trying to extort about $20 million from the Nike corporation in 2019. Another lawsuit against him by five clients alleging financial fraud was declared a mistrial on technical grounds. He also faces another trial in California for charges of tax fraud and bank fraud.

At one point, some in the media praised Avenatti as a possible presidential candidate to run against Trump in the 2020 election. Trump has denied the alleged affair with Daniels.

Here's more about Avennati's latest conviction:

Michael Avenatti GUILTY of fraud for stealing $300K from Stormy Daniels | LiveNOW from FOX www.youtube.com

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