Michael Avenatti released from prison over coronavirus fears

Michael Avenatti

FILE – In this Dec. 17, 2019, file photo, California attorney Michael Avenatti arrives at federal court to enter a plea to an indictment charging him with trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike in New York. A judge has allowed Avenatti to be temporarily freed from a federal jail in New York City and to ride out the coronavirus scare at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. On Friday, April 10, 2020, U.S. District Judge James Selna said Avenatti may stay at the home of Jay Mannheimer, near Venice Beach, during the 90-day release period but he first must get tested for COVID-19 and be quarantined for 14 days at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Attorney Michael Avenatti was released from a New York federal correctional facility on Friday morning out of fears that he could contract the coronavirus, his attorney, Dean Steward, told CBS News. A judge ordered his release from the Metropolitan Correctional Center after his lawyers argued he is more at risk because of a case of pneumonia he had six months ago. 

Avenatti, who is best known for representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, has been in quarantine for the past 14 days at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York where he was awaiting sentencing after being convicted of trying to extort $25 million from Nike athletic apparel giant. 

Steward said Avenatti is currently on a flight from New York to Los Angeles, where he will be on home confinement at a friend’s house for the next 90 days. He is required to wear an ankle security bracelet and is also not allowed to use digital devices that have internet access. After that time, he will be required to return to New York. 

Earlier this year, Avenatti was convicted to extort millions from Nike and is scheduled to face sentencing in June. He has also been charged with defrauding additional clients and for lying about his taxes. 

As of Thursday, the Bureau of Prisons said it had placed 1,501 inmates into home confinement, and 24 federal inmates have died from the coronavirus.

Pat Milton contributed to this report.

This story comes to us from CBS News.

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