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Michael Avenatti accused of trying to extort Nike for up to $25M, feds say

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techbeck    6,874
Posted (edited)

Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, was accused Monday by federal prosecutors in New York of operating "an old-fashioned shakedown" by trying to extort between $15 and $25 million from sports apparel giant Nike, part of a string of bombshell claims against the celebrity lawyer.

 

Avenatti, who briefly considered a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also was charged with wire fraud and bank fraud in a separate case out of California. He was taken into custody and expected to appear in court later Monday in New York City.

 

Prosecutors said Avenatti tried to extort Nike "by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met."

 

A suspected co-conspirator working alongside Avenatti was identified Monday afternoon by The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal as Mark Geragos, who has represented celebrities including Michael Jackson and -- more recently -- "Empire" star Jussie Smollett. Geragos also was a CNN contributor.

 

"As alleged, Michael Avenatti approached Nike last week with a list of financial demands in exchange for covering up allegations of misconduct on behalf of the company," FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. "The lofty price tag included a $1.5 million payoff for Avenatti’s client and upwards of tens of millions of dollars for the legal services of his firm – services Nike never requested. This is nothing more than a straightforward case of extortion"

 

The counts against Avenatti in the New York case are extortion, transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, and conspiracy to commit extortion..

 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/michael-avenatti-accused-of-trying-to-extort-nike-for-up-to-25m-feds-say

 

More info over at CNN....

 

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/michael-avenatti-charged/index.html

 

"Nike will not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation. Nike has been cooperating with the government’s investigation into NCAA basketball for over a year. When Nike became aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal prosecutors. When Mr. Avenatti attempted to extort Nike over this matter, Nike with the assistance of outside counsel at Boies Schiller Flexner, aided the investigation. Nike firmly believes in ethical and fair play, both in business and sports, and will continue to assist the prosecutors.”

Edited by techbeck

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wakjak    17,499

Of all the stupid things you can do in life... going after Nike would be the top of the tops of stupid.

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DocM    16,486
Posted (edited)

CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos has been fired - outed by WSJ as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Michael Avenetti case. 

Avenetti represented Stormy Daniels, and was also a CNN regular.

Geragos represented Jussie Smolette, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jackson, Susan McDougal (Clinton/Whitewater), and a host of others. 

 

 

Edited by DocM

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techbeck    6,874

Avenatti never set right with me.  Promised evidence on a few cases and never delivered.  He got caught up in the Stormy fame and got greedy.  Tho, I am sure his greed and shadiness existed before that.  I was waiting for this tool to get caught.  He faces what, 100 years or so in just NY alone if convicted.  But he will be given a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty.  Unlike what he wanted to do to others.

57 minutes ago, DocM said:


Geragos represented Jussie Smolette, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jackson, Susan McDougal (Clinton/Whitewater), and a host of others. 

 

 

Makes you wonder about those cases....

1 hour ago, wakjak said:

Of all the stupid things you can do in life... going after Nike would be the top of the tops of stupid.

Yea, guess he will be missing that press conference tomorrow where he was going to expose Nike.  Nike apparently has been working with the the feds for over a year.  Apparently they have him on tape since an inside person was wearing a wire.

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wakjak    17,499
1 hour ago, DocM said:

Geragos represented Jussie Smolette, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jackson, Susan McDougal (Clinton/Whitewater), and a host of others. 

And yet he hasn't been arrested. 

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DocM    16,486
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, wakjak said:

And yet he hasn't been arrested. 

Being named an unindicted co-conspirator is pretty bad, and controversial. The feds may not have enough evidence to charge him, but want to deliver a public body blow. And sometimes those named end up as  cooperating witnesses, hoping to remain unindicted.

 

This started with Richard Nixon being named during Watergate, and it allowed his statements to be entered into evidence. 

 

Many people feel this naming is a 5th Amendment violation, and wrong because many among  the public see no difference between being  named and actually being indicted.  And, those named may never get a day in court to prove their innocence.

 

"Where do I go to get my reputation back?" sums it up.

 

Pretty big hammer for federal prosecutors, one which the American Bar Association has opposed since 1977.

 

And it isn't the only controversial practice used by the feds, the FBI using handwritten notes instead of recording interviews is another. People go to prison because of transcription errors or bad notes (called a "302").

Edited by DocM

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