5 March 2020.
A Manhattan jury on Friday found Michael Avenatti guilty in a criminal trial accusing the celebrity lawyer of trying to extort Nike Inc $25 million and defraud a youth basketball coach he represented. Prosecutors said Avenatti told Nike that he could wipe billions of dollars off its market value but would keep quiet if it paid him and another lawyer up to $25 million to conduct an internal probe, and paid the coach Gary Franklin $1.5 million. Prosecutors said Avenatti wanted a big payday to cover at least $11 million of his own debts. He had been evicted from his law offices for failure to pay rent that totalled roughly $50,000 a month. Avenatti was also convicted of defrauding Franklin by not telling him he was demanding a probe before agreeing to settle.
Avenatti gained wide publicity when he began representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump. He made hundreds of television appearances concerning Stormy Daniels’s case. During his television appearances, he heavily criticised Trump and even considered running for president himself.
Avenatti remains in jail without bail after he violated his $300,000 bail by moving money around illegally after his arrest.
Besides the extortion trial, Avenatti also faces trial in New York on charges that he defrauded Stormy Daniels of book proceeds.
Japan Times Reported.