Michael Avenatti Charged In Two States For Extortion And Fraud

Attorney Michael Avenatti replies to questions by reporters during a news conference in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles in July 2018. Avenatti was charged Monday with extortion and bank and wire fraud

Avenatti, who previously represented Stormy Daniels and Brett Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick, allegedly threatened to bring negative publicity to Nike if his demands were not met, the SDNY said.

Monday's arrest came after Avenatti reportedly tried to extort Nike for $20 million, according to CBS News.

Avenatti in December tweeted a report on Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, saying that Trump Jr. told his friends he expected to be indicted by Mueller.

Shares of Nike fell more than 1 percent on Monday following a tweet from California-based lawyer Michael Avenatti alleging Nike's involvement in a "major high school/college basketball scandal".

According to federal prosecutors, Avenatti attempted to extort Nike for millions of dollars, threatening to hold a press conference that would call to light unflattering details about the company's connection to the college bribery scandal unless executives agreed to pay him. Avenatti is facing charges of bank and wire fraud in that case.

The tweet that preceded the social media smackdown was shared by Avenatti at 12.16pm on Monday.

Last month, Jason Frank, a former lawyer at Avenatti's firm, filed court papers accusing Avenatti of hiding millions of dollars from the court that oversaw its previous bankruptcy. "I'm not f***ing around", according to the criminal complaint.

Michael Avenatti speaks in December outside court in New York

At a news conference Monday morning, federal prosecutors said Avenatti's alleged financial crimes funded a "lavish lifestyle" that included more than $200,000 in monthly expenditures and owning a $5 million home in Laguna Beach.

The allegations related to Nike arose out of Mr. Avenatti's representation of a client identified in the complaint as the coach of an amateur men's basketball program in California, which prosecutors said had a sponsorship agreement with Nike.

Avenatti, who was also hit with separate federal charges alleging embezzlement and fraud in California, was arrested in NY and was expected to appear in federal court late in the day. Prosecutors say he demanded that the apparel company give him $10 million.

Avenatti did not immediately return HuffPost's request for comment. The day before Avenatti's March 2019 arrest, Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, it was widely reported that there would be no further indictments handed down in the case.

Update: Just a reminder that CNN and MSNBC made Avenatti a household name by having him on the air constantly past year.

Avenatti also alleged that Cohen had been reimbursed by a powerful Russian for the payment to Daniels - which became part of revelations about Cohen's de facto lobbying business, in which he sought to sell access to Trump during the president's first year in office.

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