Lawyer Michael Avenatti was found guilty on all three charges for attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike. This comes two years after he gained widespread attention for representing Stormy Daniels in her legal disputes with Donald Trump.
Avenatti was accused of threatening to “shakedown” the sportswear giant by revealing evidence that Nike had bribed amateur basketball players. He threatened to go public with the evidence unless Nike paid him millions of dollars. Prosecutors say that the extortion scheme was a way to pay off the $11 million in debt that Avenatti had landed himself in. He’s currently facing 20 years behind bars, but it is very unlikely that he will serve the full stint.
“I’m not fucking around with this, and I’m not continuing to play games,” Avenatti told Nike’s lawyers last March before he was arrested. “You guys know enough now to know you’ve got a serious problem. And it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing. A few million dollars doesn’t move the needle for me.”
Avenatti is also facing other pending federal criminal cases concerning the theft of millions of dollars from other clients. He allegedly scammed Stormy Daniels out of $300,000 in revenue for a book she released and is accused of defrauding clients out of millions, perjury, and tax fraud.
He is set to be sentenced on June 17.