Michael Avenatti has been indicted over an elaborate scheme to nab millions from Nike, and it appears there are other charges brewing for the celebrity lawyer. Earlier Monday (March 25), Avenatti tweeted that he had a bombshell admission from a former AAU coach that threatened to blow the lid off of illegal actions made by the shoe and apparel giant.
Yahoo! Sports reports:
Michael Avenatti, best known as the former lawyer of porn star Stormy Daniels, was arrested Monday after being indicted by the Southern District of New York on four counts involving an alleged extortion attempt of the shoe and apparel company Nike.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles announced they will charge Avenatti on separate wire and bank fraud in a matter unrelated to the New York indictments.
Avenatti, according to the SDNY indictment, threatened Nike that he had a client who was a former AAU basketball coach willing to disclose “evidence that one or more Nike employees had authorized and funded payments to the families of top high school players.” The alleged Nike scheme was similar to the one that caused an Adidas executive and consultant to be found guilty of fraud during a separate October trial in New York.
Avenatti, according to prosecutors, demanded more than $20 million in payments to not publicize the findings during a news conference timed for “the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings and the start of the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament.”
Avenatti has been in headlines lately for leading a charge against R. Kelly by representing individuals who produced alleged video footage of the singer engaging in sex acts with underage girls.
Thus far, comments from Avenatti have not been reported nor are there reports that the news conference took place.