March 25, 2019
Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, was accused Monday by federal prosecutors in New York of operating "an old-fashioned shakedown" by trying to extort between $15 and $25 million from sports apparel giant Nike, part of a string of bombshell claims against the celebrity lawyer.
Avenatti, who briefly considered a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also was charged with wire fraud and bank fraud in a separate case out of California. He was taken into custody and expected to appear in court later Monday in New York City.
Prosecutors said Avenatti tried to extort Nike "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."
"As alleged, Michael Avenatti approached Nike last week with a list of financial demands in exchange for covering up allegations of misconduct on behalf of the company," FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. "The lofty price tag included a $1.5 million payoff for Avenatti’s client and upwards of tens of millions of dollars for the legal services of his firm – services Nike never requested. This is nothing more than a straightforward case of extortion"
The counts against Avenattiin the New York case are extortion, transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, and conspiracy to commit extortion. He faces up to 47 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Migod, folks, this is Mafia stuff. How, in this day in age, does a guy with the reputed intelligence of Avenatti think he can get away with this kind of thing?
Read the rest here -- it includes a video with Alan Dershowitz commenting: https://www.foxnews.com/us/michael-avenatti-accused-of-trying-to-extort-nike-for-up-to-25m-feds-say
Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at March 26, 2019 07:58 AM (0hSH4)
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