Michael Avenatti Found Guilty Of Extortion.
Michael Aventatti, who rose to national prominence for representing porn-star actress Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump was found guilty Friday of trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike, inc. with threats to expose defamatory information of the company.
The case launched last year by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan followed an investigation into a series of meetings with Los Angeles lawyer Mark Geragos and representatives for Nike in March of 2019. Avenatti was convicted by jury of all three counts charged by U.S. attorneys including extortion, transmission of interstate communications and intent to extort, and wire fraud.
Prosecutors accused Avenatti of threatening the sports-apparel company with exposing what Aventatti said billed as corruption if it didn’t pay his amateur youth basketball coach client and hire Avenatti to manage an internal investigation of its practices.
Avenatti’s lawyers argued in court that Avenatti was simply using a tough negotiation strategy that did not rise to the standard of extortion. Prosecutors aided by Nike attorneys however convinced the jury otherwise.
Avenatti, who has been locked up in New York since January is still facing a myriad of other legal challenges in California and New York.
A federal indictment in California was filed after being arrested in the state for allegedly violating judge’s orders in pretrial release. There, Aventatti is up against a dozen charges related to his business practices, taxes, and finances.
In yet another round of charges in New York, federal prosecutors have accused Avenatti of embezzlement in his representation of Daniels.
Last fall, Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin also pressed the Justice Department for updates on Avenatti’s criminal referral for him and his client, Julie Swetnick for accusing now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of running a serial gang rape cartel through the Maryland suburbs as a teenager.
A spokesman for Grassley’s office told The Federalist that the DOJ has yet to provide any information to the senators on Avenatti’s case related to Kavanaugh.
Avenatti’s sentencing date is tentatively scheduled for June 14, which is subject to change, according to the judge.