Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort millions from Nike

CNBC: Michael Avenatti courtsketch 2 190326

A court sketch of Michael Avenatti seated at defense table with his attorney Federal Defender Sylvie Levin. Elizabeth Williams | CNBC

FBI agents on Monday arrested Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer in her legal battle with President Trump, on charges that he tried to extort $20 million from Nike by threatening to damage the company with negative publicity.

Avenatti allegedly told Nike he had evidence its employees funneled money to the families of star high school basketball players and would go public with the information unless the athletic apparel maker met his demands. Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney in Manhattan, described the actions as a “shakedown.”

Avenatti, 48, also was charged with embezzling a client’s money and defrauding a bank.

Avenatti said when the evidence in the case is out he “will be fully exonerated and justice will be done.”

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