Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rose to fame for representing Stormy Daniels, was arrested on federal charges Monday related to an alleged $20 million extortion of the athletic company Nike as well as charges from a separate case, according to federal authorities.
Interestingly, the charges were revealed not long after Avenatti said he was holding a press conference to “disclose” a “basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike,” according to this tweet:
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference 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.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
Now federal authorities say they will hold a press conference related to the charges on Monday afternoon.
According to a criminal complaint filed in New York, Avenatti is accused of devising “a scheme to extort a company by means of an interstate communication by threatening to damage the company’s reputation if the company did not agree to make multi-million dollar payments to Avenatti and [co-conspirator], and further agree to pay an additional $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s.”
Federal authorities also claimed Avenatti and a cooperating witness spoke by phone with lawyers for Nike “during which Avenatti stated, with respect to his demands for payment of milions of dollars, that if those demands were not met ‘I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap… I’m not f—ing around.’”
In a separate case filed in California, Avenatti is accused of “negotiating a settlement which called for $1.6 million in settlement money to be paid on January 10, 2018, but then gave the client a bogus settlement agreement with a false payment date of March 10, 2018,” according to CBS Los Angeles.
Avenatti has not yet responded to these accusations at the time of this writing.
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