Bloomberg Law reports:
Michael Avenatti was convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc. and defrauding a client in the process, completing a steep fall for a celebrity lawyer who shot to national attention by styling himself as a foil for President Donald Trump.
Jurors in Manhattan found Avenatti guilty of all three criminal counts. The verdict on Friday, following a two-week trial, could lead to a long prison sentence for the lawyer, who became a national figure by representing the pornographic-film actress Stormy Daniels in a suit against Trump.
NBC News reports:
Prosecutors maintained Avenatti threatened to use his fame to stage a news conference and deliver claims that Nike executives were corrupting college basketball by funding payments to elite young players and their families, unless he was paid millions of dollars to conduct the internal probe.
On one recording, Avenatti could be heard threatening to take $5 billion or $6 billion off the value of Nike’s stock if his demands were not met.
Closing arguments were the culmination of a three-week trial for the California lawyer who gained fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump. For a time, the 48-year-old attorney was a frequent guest on cable television programs.
The government said Avenatti also betrayed his client, a youth basketball coach who made the allegations, by advocating for money for himself instead of the client.
Avenatti was charged with transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, attempted extortion and honest services wire fraud.
He still faces two additional trials for allegedly stealing Stormy Daniels’ book advance and committing fraud in California. He is being held in jail for allegedly violating the terms of his bail in the California case.