Michael Avenatti arrested, charged with trying to extort millions from Nike


"Mr Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, reacted with glee to the news on Twitter, bashing out a series of tweets, including: "#MAGA - Michael Avenatti Getting Arrested!"

Michael Avenatti's charges in NY stem from a threat he made to Nike.

The charges mark a steep downfall for a lawyer who rose to fame past year as the attorney for Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress who claimed to have an affair with Donald Trump more than a decade ago.

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer most notable for his defense of Stormy Daniels against Donald Trump, was charged on Monday with attempting to extort Nike for millions of dollars over information involving a high school and college basketball scandal. 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.

NY prosecutors said Mr Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator met with Nike's attorneys on March 19 and said they had a client, a former amateur athletic coach, who had evidence that Nike employees had paid bribes to top high school players to convince them to play for Nike-sponsored teams. He will appear in court later Monday.

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. "But I'm not f.ing around", Avenatti told attorneys for Nike in a March 20 phone call, according to a complaint unsealed Monday.

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Prosecutors in Los Angeles announced that Avenatti is also facing federal charges of bank fraud and wire fraud. On the same day, federal authorities in California announced Avenatti also faces federal charges of wire and bank fraud in the Central District of California.

Prosecutors said that the attorney continued to hide that the payment had already been received when the client asked where the money was after the fake March 2018 deadline passed.

Avenatti was not immediately available for a comment. Avenatti threatened to publicly disparage Nike if the company did not pay him millions of dollars, according to the indictment. Additionally, it's been alleged that Avenatti submitted false tax returns to a bank in MS to get $4.1 million in loans.

According to WSJ, Avenatti's co-conspirator was Geragos, a lawyer famous for representing clients like Michael Jackson, Jussie Smollett and Colin Kaepernick.

As recently as five months ago, Avenatti was a frequent fixture on cable news and prolific anti-Trump pundit. She said she would reveal more in the future about Avenatti's conduct.

"Knowing what I know now about Michael, I'm saddened but not shocked regarding his arrest", Daniels' lawyer told CNBC in a statement.