Always the opportunist, disgraced celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti secured a temporary release from prison on Saturday after claiming he faced a unique health risk from the Wuhan coronavirus while behind bars.
Avenatti's attorneys argued their client was susceptible to the coronavirus because Avenatti developed pneumonia earlier this year. A judge in California ordered Michael Avenatti to be temporarily released from prison and set conditions for his temporary release.
The prisoner is required to post a $1 million bond and wear an electronic monitor while sheltering in place at a friend's house in Venice, California, ESPN reported.
The failed Democratic presidential candidate was found guilty in February of attempting to extort $25 million from the company Nike. According to the indictment, Avenatti threatened to hold a damaging press conference on the eve of Nike's quarterly earnings report and the start of the NCAA's men's college basketball tournament unless the apparel company agreed to pay Avenatti some $25 million in payments. Avenatti claimed he was representing a youth basketball coach who had evidence that Nike employees had concealed unauthorized payments to families of top high school basketball players. The lawyer was convicted on felony charges of attempted extortion, honest services wire fraud, and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.
Avenatti's sentencing was scheduled for June 17, when the felon faces a combined maximum penalty of up to 42 years behind bars. The disgraced lawyer is also at the center of two other criminal cases involving charges that Avenatti swindled millions of dollars from his former clients and a $300,000 book advance from porn star Stormy Daniels.