Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested for extortion, fraud


The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY announced separate charges that Avenatti allegedly tried to extort Nike for $20 million.

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.

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

The complaint alleges that Avenatti threatened to "release damaging information" about the company in a news conference if Nike didn't pay him "millions of dollars" to handle the case.

The US attorney's office in NY brought the Nike case, while the US attorney's office in Los Angeles brought the embezzlement case.

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Avenatti is facing bank fraud charges in California over $4.1 million in loans secured in 2014 from The Peoples Bank. Frank accused him of trying to get out of appearing in court the next morning, and that Avenatti didn't have authority to file the bankruptcy petition.

The following day, Avenatti met with Nike's lawyers in person, where in a recorded video he could be heard demanding $22.5 million for a confidential settlement.

Meanwhile, a complaint filed in the Central District of California said Avenatti committed both wire fraud and bank fraud in separate attempts to defraud both his clients and a bank in Biloxi, Mississippi.

"A suit and tie doesn't mask the fact that at it's core, this was an old fashioned shakedown", U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said during a press conference later in the afternoon.

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.

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

Avenatti and a co-conspirator demanded to be paid a minimum of $15 to $25 million U.S. and an additional $1.5 million United States for an Avenatti client to remain silent, the complaint said.

According to WSJ, Avenatti's co-conspirator was Geragos, a lawyer famous for representing clients like Michael Jackson, Jussie Smollett and Colin Kaepernick. He's also accused of defrauding a bank by using phony tax returns to obtain millions in loans. But it wasn't only in that case that Avenatti sought to cause problems for the president.

As recently as five months ago, Avenatti was a frequent fixture on cable news and prolific anti-Trump pundit.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, released a statement about the matter.

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Both Smart and Embiid had to be restrained by their teammates to prevent the altercation from further escalating. Embiid, meanwhile, was hit with a technical foul for his role in the play.

Earlier this year, Daniels announced that Avenatti no longer represented her.