Michael Avenatti asks judge to delay sentencing over coronavirus concerns

In a letter to a federal judge on Wednesday, Michael Avenatti’s attorney requested his sentencing hearing be delayed due to limitations imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Avenatti’s attorney, Scott Srebnick, asked for his client’s August 19 hearing date to be pushed back to the week of October 5-9, according to court documents obtained by Fox News.

“I write to respectfully request a second adjournment of the sentencing date for approximately fifty (50) days, until the week of October 5-9, 2020, if the Court’s schedule permits,” he wrote.

“As this Court is aware, on February 14, 2020, a jury found Mr. Avenatti guilty of the three counts charged against him in the Superseding Indictment.,” Srebnick added. “At the time, Mr. Avenatti was in custody pursuant to a remand order entered by United States District Judge James Selna of the Central District of California. On April 24, 2020, Mr. Avenatti was temporarily released to home confinement in California at the residence of a friend pursuant to conditions set by Judge Selna in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He then argued that Avenatti, 49, should remain in California due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s executive order requiring all travelers coming to New York from certain hotspots, to quarantine for 14 days.

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“Thus, as matters currently stand, both Mr. Avenatti and undersigned counsel would be required to travel to New York and quarantine for 14 days before a sentencing hearing in this case,” the document read. “Likewise, any family member who wishes to attend Mr. Avenatti’s sentencing, or any potential sentencing witness, would also be required to quarantine for 14 days.

“This would place an unnecessary burden on undersigned counsel, Mr. Avenatti, and any attendees from one of the 22 states,” Srebnick continued. “Mr. Avenatti’s trial in his second case in the Southern District of New York, United States v. Avenatti, No. 19 Cr. 374, is currently scheduled to commence before Judge Furman on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. We respectfully request, therefore, that the sentencing hearing in the instant case be scheduled for the week prior (Oct. 5-9), if the Court’s schedule permits.”

Avenatti, who was once floated as a possible presidential candidate in 2018, was convicted in February on three counts, including extortion, wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike, by threatening to go public with evidence that the company had paid off the families of young NBA-bound athletes.

The once famed lawyer was also the attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels. He now faces two other trials. In the second trial in Manhattan, he faces charges that he cheated Daniels out of the proceeds of a book deal. The most serious charges are in a federal case in Los Angeles, where he is accused of defrauding clients and others.

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Avenatti has denied all charges and said they are the result of a vendetta by the Trump administration for his representation of Daniels in her litigation against President Trump.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report 

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