Michael Avenatti Found Guilty on All Three Counts in Nike Extortion Trial

Michael Avenatti Found Guilty on All Three Counts in Nike Extortion Trial”

Michael Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump, has been found guilty of attempted extortion.

However, his fall from grace came when he was arrested previous year as he was about to meet Nike lawyers to press his demands for millions to conduct an internal probe of the Beaverton, Ore. -based shoemaker.

According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Avenatti told those people his client-who wasn't present at any of the meetings-had evidence that Nike employees had funneled secret payments to the families of top high-school basketball players, in apparent violation of NCAA rules. The suit alleged that Avenatti threatened the corporation with a press conference accusing Nike of corruption unless the company paid him and his co-conspirator millions of dollars.

The Nike trial was one of three trials Avenatti faced over the next five months.

Avenatti also stands accused of stealing $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels, earned from her memoir "Full Disclosure", and also forging her signature.

Avenatti claimed the case was political payback for his clash with Trump, though a judge restricted him from advancing that theory with jurors.

Attorney Michael Avenatti leaving court on October 8, 2019.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan began investigating Nike over the potentially illicit payments in 2017, when Adidas AG was hit with a related scandal.

Citing previous testimony and text messages between Auerbach and Franklin, defense attorneys said the two men were after "justice" and hired "Avenatti to be Avenatti" to get it.

Avenatti, who prosecutors said wanted a big payday to help cover at least US$11 million of debts, was also charged with defrauding his client Gary Franklin by not telling him he was demanding a probe before agreeing to settle. After the jury read the verdict, his lawyer put his hand on Avenatti's shoulder.

They had looked up firms that had "successfully sued Nike" and said it was time to "go after Nike". defense attorney Scott Srebnick said in closing arguments.

Felony convictions often result in automatic disbarment for lawyers.

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