Michael Avenatti arrested in extortion case

Attorney Michael Avenatti charged with extortion by federal prosecutors in New York

Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested for extortion, fraud

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles separately announced Avenatti faces bank and wire fraud charges for allegedly embezzling money from a client and defrauding a bank through fake tax returns.

The lawyer and a co-conspirator demanded to be paid 15 million to 25 million dollars and an additional 1.5 million dollars for an Avenatti client to remain silent, the complaint said.

Just prior to the indictments were announced, Avenatti tweeted out that he planned to hold a press conference tomorrow to "to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated" involving Nike.

In a statement, Nike said it had reached out to federal officials after the initial meeting with Avenatti as it would not stand being extorted.

He rose to national prominence by representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in a lawsuit to break a confidentiality agreement to speak about her alleged affair with Trump.

"I'm not f**king around with this, and I'm not continuing to play games...you guys know enough now to know you've got a serious problem..."

Update: WSJ is reporting Avenatti's co-conspirator is attorney Mark Geragos.

"They are acting as criminals", said Geoffrey S. Berman, the USA attorney in NY.

"A suit and tie does not mask the fact that, at its core, this was an old-fashioned shakedown", he added.

Earlier today, Michael Avenatti was charged with trying to extort $25 million from Nike by threatening to publicize negative information he supposedly uncovered.

In a March 20 follow-up call with Nike's lawyers, Avenatti said that if his demands were not met, "I'll go take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap".

Avenatti allegedly threatened to hold a press conference detailing the allegations to coincide with the beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament and Nike's quarterly earnings call.

"What would ever make you think you could extort Nike without the general counsel of Nike saying, wait a minute, you can't do this?"

Boies Schiller lawyers agreed to record a follow-up conversation with Avenatti on behalf of federal prosecutors, according to one of WSJ's sources.

And, we're really not sure what to say about Tully's Coffee at this time. Charges against Avenatti were eventually dropped.

"Calling this anticipated payout a retainer or a settlement doesn't change what it was - a shakedown", NY federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman told reporters.

Last month, Jason Frank, a former lawyer at Avenatti's firm, filed court papers accusing Avenatti of hiding millions of dollars from the court that oversaw its previous bankruptcy. "I believe we can not be the party of turning the other cheek", Avenatti told an audience at an event for his pre-presidential campaign tour (or whatever it was). Frank accused him of trying to get out of appearing in court the next morning, and that Avenatti didn't have authority to file the bankruptcy petition. Avenatti won't serve anything close to that maximum even assuming he's convicted.

Avenatti himself has been dogged with tax and financial troubles in recent years.

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