Attorney Michael Avenatti Charged w/ Trying to Extort Nike for over $20M

A U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles says lawyer Michael Avenatti a critic of President Donald Trump could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted on wire and bank fraud charges

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Days later, sans payout, Avenatti tweeted that he planned to host a press conference to discuss an alleged against the athletic company Monday at 12:16 p.m. ET.

Earlier this morning, celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti who was best known for representing Stormy Daniels and was most recently involved with the indictment of R. Kelly, was reportedly arrested and charged with trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

Before news of his charges, Avenatti posted a tweet saying he would be holding a press conference to disclose a "major high school/college basketball scandal" perpetrated by Nike that he claimed to have uncovered. Avenatti was reportedly representing the coach of an AAU Youth Club basketball team and after a complaint was made, the attorney demanded Nike hire him for the exorbitant sum of money to conduct an internal investigation.

The unnamed co-conspirator is the well-known defense lawyer and CNN contributor Mark Geragos, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

The Justice Department's announcement said if Avenatti was convicted on both charges, he could face "a statutory maximum sentence of 50 years in federal prison".

Avenatti was to appear in court in New York City before Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.

The move comes three weeks after Jason Frank, a former lawyer at the firm, filed court papers accusing Avenatti of hiding millions of dollars from the court that oversaw its previous bankruptcy.

Los Angeles US attorney Nick Hanna accused Mr Avenatti of "lawless conduct and greed" during a news conference detailing the charges.

An attorney for Avenatti did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

High profile Los Angeles attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested by federal law enforcement officials in a wire fraud and bank fraud case, the US attorney's office said Monday. He described how investigators had recorded a phone call in which Avenatti threatened a lawyer for Nike unless the company met his demands.

The complaint states that Avenatti used his client's money for his personal debts.

Federal prosecutors said he also defrauded a bank by using fake tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, released a statement about the matter. But it wasn't only in that case that Avenatti sought to cause problems for the president.

On March 20, prosecutors said, Avenatti further detailed his threat.

"I am saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged today", Daniels said in a tweet.

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