Michael Avenatti Indicted for Attempting to Extort Nike for More Than $20 Million

He allegedly threatened to release damaging information on the company.

G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA

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Federal prosecutors in New York have charged Michael Avenatti with attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike by threatening to release damaging information about the company.

“On or about March 20, 2019, Avenatti and CC-1 spoke by telephone with attorneys for Nike, during which Avenatti stated, with respect to his demands for payment of millions of dollars, that if those demands were not met ‘I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap…I’m not fucking around,'” a court filing stated.

The announcement came shortly after a tweet from Avenatti on Monday that alleged to disclose a “major high school/college basketball scandal” committed by Nike.

https://twitter.com/MichaelAvenatti/status/1110213957170749440

In addition, federal prosecutors in California on Monday indicted Avenatti with separate charges of bank and wire fraud. “Attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested today pursuant to a criminal complaint alleging he embezzled a client’s money in order to pay his own expenses and debts—as well as those of his coffee business and law firm—and also defrauded a bank by using phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California wrote in a statement.

Avenatti is best known for representing the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump. A DOJ press conference is scheduled for 2:30 pm EST.

This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information becomes available.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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