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Michael Avenatti Found Guilty in Nike Extortion Trial


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Michael Avenatti on Friday was found guilty on multiple charges that he tried to extort Nike, according to the Associated Press.

The disgraced lawyer stared and showed no reaction as the verdict was read, according to one reporter in the room. 

Avenatti made a name for himself when he represented a porn star who said she was paid hush money after an affair with Donald Trump before he was elected president. Avenatti, himself, then dipped his toe into the political waters, saying he might run for president. He later recanted.

Before he was taken into custody last year, Avenatti tweeted, “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.”

According to the criminal complaint filed in March 2019, Avenatti told Nike he would only refrain from holding the press conference if it paid his client $1.5 million, and agreed to retain him and an unnamed co-conspirator to conduct an internal investigation for $15 million to $20 million.

He allegedly repeatedly warned the company that he wasn’t “fucking around,” according to the complaint.

Nike contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who investigated in conjunction with the FBI. The co-conspirator is described as “an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California, and similarly known for representation of celebrity and public figure clients.”

Avenatti is still facing felony charges in California, accused of defrauding clients out of millions of dollars, along with charges related to tax crimes.

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