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Michael Avenatti Found Guilty In Nike Extortion Case


Disgraced porn lawyer Michael Avenatti has been found guilty of all charges related to his attempted shakedown of shoe giant Nike.

Avenatti rose to fame as the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, a porn star who sued President Trump for defamation.

She lost and had to pay the billionaire President’s nearly $300,000 in legal fees.

Avenatti also made a media splash last year when he floated the idea of running for president in the 2020 election. 

MSNBC endorsed him.

Avenatti's attempted extortion of Nike began when he alleged that he had evidence of the company's payments to amateur basketball players. 

He claimed to represent Gary Franklin, an amateur basketball coach.

The coach testified in court that he didn't know that Avenatti was attempting a shakedown of Nike.

Check out this report from CNBC:

Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday by a jury of all three charges related to his efforts to extort up to $25 million from athletic apparel giant Nike, in what a top prosecutor called “an old-fashioned shakedown.”

The verdict in U.S. District Court in Manhattan came two years after Avenatti gained widespread notoriety for his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal disputes with President Donald Trump.

The bombastic attorney, who briefly flirted with running for the Democratic presidential nomination, faces two other pending federal criminal cases this spring related to alleged thefts of millions of dollars from clients, including Daniels, and other serious charges.

“I think he’s in a bit of a state of shock,” one of his defense attorneys, Danya Perry, told reporters after the verdict, which Avenatti plans to appeal.

“But he’s a fighter, as you all know, and he’s staying strong.”

A fighter? More like a shyster. 

According to reports, Avenatti was $11 million in debt at the time of the shakedown.

He requested from Nike $1.5 million for his client, and $15 million - $25 million for himself for conducting an "internal investigation".

Read more about it in this Fox News article:

Brian Stelter and Joy Behar thought he could run for president in 2020. Now he's going to jail.

A New York jury found Avenatti, 48, guilty on three counts, including extortion, wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort. He faces up to 42 years in prison and did not testify in the case against him.

The disgraced lawyer was accused of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to go public with evidence that the company had paid off the families of young NBA-bound athletes. For about two weeks, prosecutors called several witnesses, including lawyers and Nike employees, and played recordings of Avenatti at his meeting with Nike attorneys.

The defense's case consisted of documents and stipulations insisting that Avenatti was only being an aggressive attorney and was working on behalf of his client. However, the client, Gary Franklin, the founder and coach of youth basketball team California Supreme, testified in court that Avenatti didn’t keep him in the loop of the negotiations with the athletic giant.

Avenatti hasn't been able to appear on CNN, or anywhere else, as he was in custody after violating bail conditionsin a federal case against him in California and was housed at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center during the trial.

Avenatti is facing up to 42 years in prison for the three charges.

Although experts agree that he will be given significantly less time.

In addition to the Nike case, he's facing separate charges in both New York and California. 

In California, he is facing three dozen charges related to stealing millions of dollars from five clients.

Similarly, he faces charges in New York stemming from money owed to Stormy Daniels from her book deal. Avenatti allegedly forged her signature in order to have her $300,000 payment released to him. He claims that she has only paid him $100 for his "millions of dollars" in legal services.

Here's more from CNN:

A federal grand jury in Manhattan indicted celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti on Wednesday in two alleged schemes, charging him with fraud and aggravated identity theft involving his former client, Stormy Daniels, and with attempting to extort more than $20 million from sportswear giant Nike.

Prosecutors charged Avenatti, 48, with stealing about $300,000 of Daniels' advance for her book contract, according to court papers, and using that money to pay employees of his law firm and a coffee business he owned. Daniels isn't named in the indictment, but she is the individual referred to as "Victim-1," according to a person familiar with the matter.

To date, according to the indictment, Avenatti has failed to repay Daniels about half of the sum he allegedly stole from her.

With Wednesday's charges, Avenatti has faced federal indictment three times over the course of about six weeks.

With three court cases ongoing, Avenatti is looking at some serious time behind bars.

He's been under confinement since mid-January for violating his pre-trial bond terms. 

He has also been in and out of solitary confinement during that time.

Check out this ABC News video clip for more details:



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