Michael Avenatti was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for stealing nearly $300,000 from adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Prosecutors said that Avenatti sent a fake document to Daniels’ literary agent, requesting to send nearly $300,000 of an $800,000 advance for her 2018 autobiography to a bank account controlled by him. The document appeared to show that Daniels had signed off on the transactions.
The jury spent over 15 hours deliberating the case and appeared to be deadlocked at one point.
“We have one juror who is refusing to look at evidence and is acting on a feeling. We need assistance on moving forward. She does not believe she needs to prove her side using evidence and refuses to show us how she has come to her conclusion,” jurors wrote in a note to the judge, CNN reported.
“Please help us move forward not going on any evidence, all emotions and does not understand this job of a jury,” the note added, with the word “please” underlined.
Avenatti, who represented himself, asked for a mistrial but was denied by Judge Jesse Furman. Instead, Judge Furman called the jury back into the courtroom and instructed them to deliberate based solely on the evidence presented during the trial.
Avenatti faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge, while the charge of aggravated identify theft carries a mandatory minimum term of two years behind bars. His sentencing date has been scheduled for May 24.