Attorney Michael Avenatti, who flirted with a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was arrested today on multiple federal charges. The Vancouver Sun reports:
"A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles said Avenatti was arrested Monday in New York.
Spokesman Ciaran McEvoy says the lawyer best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Trump faces federal charges in New York and California.
In the New York case, he was accused of threatening to use his ability to get publicity to harm the sports apparel giant Nike.
In the California case, Avenatti was accused of embezzling a client’s money to pay his own expenses and debts — as well as those of his coffee business and law firm. The U.S. attorney’s office also said he defrauded a bank by using phoney tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans."
It all began Monday with this Michael Avenatti tweet:
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
And then all hell broke loose:
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, SDNY: "The charges [against Michael Avenatti] are based on [his] scheme to extract more than $20m in payments from a public company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict financial & reputational harm on the company." pic.twitter.com/r5qbJiJD64— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 25, 2019
According to the indictment, @Avenatti allegedly tried "to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met."— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 25, 2019
Media reports say @MichaelAvenatti has been arrested in connection with the indictment.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 25, 2019
LA charges involve @MichaelAvenatti allegedly embezzling client’s money in order to pay his own expenses and debts — as well as those of his coffee business and law firm — and defrauding a bank by using bogus tax returns "to obtain millions of dollars," according to US attorney.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 25, 2019
Officials call Michael Avenatti "a corrupt lawyer" who "fights for his own selfish interests," say the allegations against him "paint an ugly picture of lawless conduct and greed" https://t.co/HuSzfp0oip pic.twitter.com/9SF1l5Yncv— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 25, 2019
More details about the New York case:
Per SDNY, Michael Avenatti allegedly threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike's quarterly earnings call & the eve of the NCAA tournament, when he said he'd announce allegations of misconduct by Nike employees, unless Nike paid him millions not to do it.— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 25, 2019
Per SDNY, Michael Avenatti allegedly said he would not hold the press conference if Nike paid his client $1.5 million to keep the info a secret AND hired him (Avenatti) to conduct an internal investigation into Nike and paid him $15- $25 million to do it.https://t.co/XQSPMSMT5l— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 25, 2019
SDNY: "[Michael] Avenatti wasn't seeking money for a client, he was seeking money for himself."https://t.co/O1VCADLbsM— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 25, 2019
NIKE Admits They Have Been Under Federal Investigation for Over a Year Which is Why There Was No Benefit in Paying Michael Avenatti (Full NIKE Statement-Court Docs) https://t.co/WouCj4UJLA pic.twitter.com/0Ws6nE6DC2— Robert Littal (@BSO) March 25, 2019
BREAKING: The Wall Street Journal reports that the alleged co-conspirator with Michael Avenatti in the federal extortion case is celebrity attorney Mark Geragos. Geragos is a CNN legal analyst and also represents Jussie Smollett.— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 25, 2019
Michael Avenatti needs a good attorney.— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 25, 2019
i give michael avenatti credit for always swooshing in out of nowhere and raising everyones spirits during hard times. thats some real brand consistency.— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) March 25, 2019
Damn, Michael Avenatti went from representing a porn star to extorting the largest shoe company in the world... Brings whole new meaning to the term pussyfooting around... #MondayMotivation— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) March 25, 2019
No matter what Michael Avenatti did, stop attacking media outlets and individuals who had him on as a guest. Unless you were psychic, you couldn't have predicted these disgusting extortion allegations would pop up. I admit, it appears I was incorrect in judging his character.— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) March 25, 2019
With a looming Michael Avenatti arrest and an empty-handed Mueller, the Resistance has collapsed. If the Resistance was based on actual values, instead of a frantic attempt to patch up the reality of the 2016 presidential election, it would still be strong & standing.— Jason C. (@Jasonfest) March 25, 2019
So it turns out Michael Avenatti was right. There was going to be another indictment after all. He just didn't realize it'd be him.— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) March 25, 2019
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