Published: Sat, February 15, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti convicted in Nike extortion case

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti convicted in Nike extortion case

In the third case, he is accused of stealing $300,000 from Daniels, who he represented in her allegations against President Trump - who she says she had sex with - int he 2016 presidential election.

Avenatti was arrested previous year on charges that alleged he tried to bribe Nike into paying him $25 million while threatening to expose the shoe company for allegedly making illicit payments to top high school basketball players, according to CNN.

Porn star Stormy Daniels said Friday's guilty verdict involving her former lawyer, Michael Avenatti, shows that the Manhattan jury "found his true character". When Nike became aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal prosecutors.

With his conviction, Avenatti could face more than 40 years in prison and is expected to be disbarred.

Michael Avenatti has been convicted on all counts in his Nike extortion case.

Prosecutors said Avenatti, 48, threatened Nike with a press conference to publicise the payments and take several billion of dollars off its market value, unless it paid him and another lawyer up to US$25 million (S$35 million) to conduct an internal probe, and paid the coach US$1.5 million. Mr. Avenatti has pleaded not guilty in those cases, which are set for two separate trials later this year.

Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of an amateur youth basketball league director who wanted him to force Nike to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture.

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"While the defendant may have tried to hide behind legal terms and a suit and tie, the jury clearly saw the defendant's scheme for what it was-an old fashioned shakedown", Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.

Sasse wrote: "Michael Avenatti is a D-list attorny but a Grade-A scumbag".

Nike has insisted there was no such deal and reported Avenatti to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Avenatti planned to hold a press conference divulging Nike's alleged payments to the basketball recruits, prosecutors said.

The judge limited what Avenatti could tell jurors.

Avenatti's sentencing was scheduled for June 17.

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