BREAKING NEWS! Michael Avenatti has been arrested and charged for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million, officials at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said.
Avenatti was taken into custody Monday, allegedly tried to extort the massive sports apparel company “by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met,” prosecutors alleged.
The counts against him include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and more, Fox News reports.
A press conference in New York is scheduled for later Monday to discuss the charges against Avenatti.
Meanwhile, a second press conference is set in California, where federal authorities are set to announce additional criminal charges against the lawyer for a separate matter. In that case, Avenatti is alleged to have embezzled money from a client to pay expenses for himself and his business ventures.
Earlier Monday, Avenatti tweeted he would be holding a press conference Tuesday to “disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”
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There are four counts to the SDNY indictment, including extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, and two counts relating to his communications about the alleged scheme, Daily Caller reports.
A second set of charges followed in Los Angeles, where authorities accused Avenatti of embezzling client funds to cover his own expenses and debts.
A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation revealed that Avenatti’s professional past was beset with bankruptcies and mounting back taxes as well as unpaid legal judgments for sex discrimination. Avenatti threatened to sue TheDCNF after that reporting appeared.
Avenatti commanded national attention while representing Stephanie Clifford — known popularly by the industry name “Stormy Daniels” — in her bid to defeat a non-disclosure agreement pertaining to her alleged relationship with President Donald Trump. He was briefly touted as a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
Clifford and Avenatti have since parted ways.
Avenatti was porn star Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer.
He also briefly considered running for president.
It looks like that won’t be happening!
This is breaking news. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.