The US District Court of Manhattan has found attorney Michael Avenatti guilty of all three charges regarding his attempt to extort $25 million from multinational athletic apparel company Nike.
Avenatti was convicted on Friday of one count of fraud and another two counts of extortion after prosecutors alleged the 48-year-old lawyer attempted to extort $25 million from Nike after defrauding a client over improper payments to families of college basketball recruits.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded the disgraced lawyer’s extortion attempt after he met with Nike representatives on March 19, 2019. At the time Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference about the payments unless the sportswear company paid his client Gary Franklin $1.5 million. He also demanded up to $25 million for himself.
Howard Srebnick, one of Avenatti’s lawyers, contended in closing arguments that his client was “not guilty” and “acted in good faith,” adding that “this was exactly what the clients wanted.”
Following the announcement of Avenatti’s conviction, Daniels issued a statement on the matter on social media, writing, “what [Avenatti] did to me was just the tip of the iceberg of deceit.”
Avenatti was also arrested just last month by the Internal Revenue Service and charged with embezzlement and a litany of other finance-related charges. The lawyer will face these charges, which were filed in California, in the spring as well.
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