A lawyer known for being one of Donald Trump’s loudest critics has been found guilty of trying to extort $ 25 million from Nike.
Michael Avenatti was convicted of all charges faced by a jury in Manhattan on Friday and now faces up to 20 years behind bars.
He asked Nike to pay one of his customers $ 1.5 million and compensate him, as well as an unnamed plot for the sum of $ 15m-25m in exchange for an “internal investigation” into the Oregon-based sportswear giant .
Avenatti, who has debts of $ 11 million, met with Nike bosses in March stating that he represented a youth basketball coach who claimed that Nike workers were making illicit payments to families of high school sports stars.
The attorney then threatened to hold a press conference by exposing the allegations unless Nike satisfied his financial demands.
He said to Nike representatives, “I’m not joking with this, and I’m not continuing to play.
‘Guys, now you know enough to know that you have a serious problem.
It is worth exposing myself to just blowing the lid on this thing.
‘A few million dollars don’t move the needle for me.’
The dishonored lawyer was arrested late that month, just 15 minutes after tweeting plans to hold a press conference to expose Nike’s alleged mistake the next day.
Avenatti became famous in 2017 as a lawyer representing Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who claims to have had a night with President Trump.
Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, claims to have spent the night with Trump in 2006, shortly after President Melania’s third wife gave birth to their son Barron.
Trump denied the claims.
His former repairman Michael Cohen is serving a three-year sentence for paying $ 110,000 of “silence” to Daniels for not repeating his claims 11 days before the 2016 presidential election.
Avenatti will be sentenced later.