Stormy Daniels’ disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti is found GUILTY of trying extort Nike for $25M by threatening to ‘expose evidence they bribed college basketball players’
- Michael Avenatti was convicted on Friday of honest services fraud, extortion and interstate communications with intent to extort
- He faces 42 years behind bars in that case but is also charged in two others
- Last March, he threatened to expose Nike’s alleged payment to college basketball players unless the company paid him $25million
- Prosecutors said he was drowning in $10million of personal debt at the time
- Separately, Avenatti is charged in California in a sweeping, 36-count tax fraud indictment
- Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 335 years behind bars; the case has not yet gone to trial
- He is also charged in New York for stealing $300,000 from Stormy Daniels
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who gained fame by representing porn star Stormy Daniels against President Trump, has been convicted of trying to extort Nike for $25million.
The 48-year-old lawyer was charged last year after the sportswear company accused him of trying to extort it for $25million.
They said Avenatti threatened to expose Nike for allegedly funneling payments to college basketball players.
Avenatti denied the allegations vehemently.
He was convicted by a jury in New York on Friday on all three counts; attempted extortion, honest services wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.
Attorney Michael Avenatti leaving court on October 8, 2019. He was convicted on
THE CHARGES AGAINST AVENATTI
The Nike case
Avenatti was charged last March with three counts; extortion, honest services fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.
He tried to get Nike to pay him $25million and, in exchange, said he would not expose them for alleged payments to college basketball players – something that is banned.
Nike reported him to the authorities instead.
The Stormy Daniels Case
In the second case to be filed against him in New York, Avenatti is charged with identity theft and wire fraud.
He allegedly forged her signature to steal $300,000 in payments from her book.
He represented Daniels in her fight against Donald Trump and Michael Cohen during the 2016 presidential election when they gave her hush money to keep her allegations that she’d slept with Trump quiet.
If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison.
That case will go to trial in April.
The IRS and Justice Department Case
The most serious indictment was filed in California.
It charges Avenatti with 36 counts of tax fraud, among other crimes. If convicted, he faces 335 years behind bars in that case.
That will go to trial in May.
The maximum sentence is 42 years behind bars, but it is only one of three trials Avenatti is the defendant in.
He has also been charged with 36 counts of fraud in a sweeping indictment by the IRS and the Justice Department in California.
That case – which carries a maximum sentence of 335 years – has not yet begun.
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, in the many indictments, is accused of stealing other clients’ settlements money and sometimes not even informing them if they had won.
The Nike case began last March.
Avenatti approached Nike claiming to have proof that it had been paying players illegally and threatening to expose the company for it if it did not pay him up to $25million.
After the charges were revealed, Nike said it had been cooperating with an already-ongoing NCAA investigation into the issue of college basketball payments for more than a year.
‘Nike firmly believes in ethical and fair play, both on business and sports, and will continue to assist prosecutors,’ it said.
At the time, Avenatti was drowning in personal debts of $10million, according to the indictment.
He had scheduled a press conference to discuss Nike’s alleged payments to the players when he was taken into custody.
The next case to go to trial will be the Stormy Daniels case in April.
Then, in May, he will go on trial in California in the Justice Department and IRS case.
Stormy Daniels with Michael Avenatti. In a separate case, he is accused of stealing $300,000 of her book sales