Michael Avenatti is Convicted of Trying to Extort Nike

Michael Avenatti is Convicted of Trying to Extort Nike

Avenatti maintained he was taking the aggressive position at the urging of his client, Gary Franklin, who ran a youth basketball league in Los Angeles and was angry that Nike ended a decadelong sponsorship that provided $72,000 annually and free gear.

Former Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti is guilty on all three counts he was facing, according to a decision by a jury in federal court in NY.

The 48-year-old lawyer was charged last year after the sports company accused him of trying to extort it for $25million.

The defendant has been jailed in Manhattan since Jan 17, after California prosecutors said he violated bail conditions.

In the third case, he is accused of stealing $300,000 from Daniels, who he represented in her allegations against President Trump - who she says she had sex with - int he 2016 presidential election.

Avenatti's lawyers argued their client had acted in good faith and did exactly what Franklin wanted in demanding a probe and threatening publicity that could expose Nike's alleged corruption, and harm its reputation and stock price.

He faces additional criminal charges in the Southern District of NY for stealing the book advance on Daniels' memoir.

Mr. Podolsky said Mr. Avenatti took what his client told him and, without his client's knowledge, "used it to shake down Nike, to line his own pockets, to try to pay off his debts".

Avenatti gained prominence by making frequent cable television appearances in 2018 and 2019 as journalists courted him for information about Daniels, who sued Trump to void a nondisclosure agreement in which she was paid $130,000 by Trump's then-attorney Michael Cohen to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with the future president in 2006.

Franklin testified he was shocked to find out Avenatti was planning a press conference.

Avenatti's legal problems may only grow. In addition to the Nike charges, Manhattan federal prosecutors accused him of swindling Daniels out of almost $300,000 for a book deal.

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.

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