Home / US / Michael Avenatti was arrested on federal charges of wire fraud and extortion – live updates today

Michael Avenatti was arrested on federal charges of wire fraud and extortion – live updates today

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who appeared nationally as a lawyer for adult movie star Stormy Daniels, was arrested in federal charges in two separate cases in California and New York, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

The American lawyer for the Southern District of New York is charged Avenatti for trying to extort Nike for nearly $ 20 million. Prosecutors said he and another lawyer threatened to release malicious information about the company if it did not meet his requirements.

The American lawyer in Los Angeles reported separately Avenatti is facing bank and wire scams because he probably remains money from a client and deceives a bank through fake tax returns.

Avenatti was arrested in New York and appeared in federal court Monday afternoon in Manhattan. He was released on a $ 300,000 personal recognition bond and ordered to give up his passport. He is also required to report all transactions of $ 5,000 or more to the court, and his travel is limited. He is scheduled to appear in court in California on April 1

, with preliminary hearings in New York on April 25.

  Michael Avenatti
Michael Avenatti, former lawyer for adult film actor Stormy Daniels "and a tough critic of President Trump speaking to the media after being arrested for trying to extort Nike for $ 15- $ 25 million on the 25th March 2019 in New York City.


The complaint in the New York case says that Avenatti and an alleged social security lawyer, identified as "CC-1", requested a meeting with Nike's New York lawyers on Tuesday, March 19. Two of the lawyers represent Nike as an outside lawyer at the law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner, and one of the lawyers works for Nike in-house.

CBS News has learned CC-1 is Mark Geragos, the high-profile celebrity lawyer whose latest customers include former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and actor Jussie Smollett. Geragos was not charged in the complaint that was released on Monday. His office said he had no views on claims.

During the meeting at Gerago's office, Avenatti said he was a representative of a basketball team for amateur sports associations (AAU) in California, whose contract with Nike had not been renewed. He said the coach had evidence that Nike employees took out illegal payments to the best high schools and their families.

Coach Avenatti said he represented Gary Franklin in Los Angeles, CBS News has learned. Franklin is the cofounder and executive director of California Supreme, a basketball program in Southern California.

Avenatti probably threatened to hold a press conference describing claims to coincide with the start of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and Nike Quarterly Profit Calls. The complaint says that Avenatti offered to scrape the press conference if Nike paid his customer $ 1.5 million and employed Avenatti to conduct an internal investigation of the company.

After the meeting later in the afternoon, Nike's lawyers contacted the US law firm to report the alleged blackmail attempt.

On March 20, the next day, two Nike lawyers held a phone call with Avenatti, which was recorded by the judiciary. Avenatti repeatedly claimed his payment claims for him and his client.

"I'm not f-ing with this and I don't continue to play games," Avenatti says. "You know enough to know you have a serious problem. And it's worth more to expose to me just blowing the lid on this thing. A few million dollars don't move the needle for me. Really sincere to you." [19659016] "I'll go and I'll take $ 10 billion of your customer's market cap. But I'm not around," he said.

In March 21 – the day of the Nike win call and the first day of the NCAA tournament – the group met again in New York, with the Nike lawyers recording the meeting. They asked Avenatti and Geragos if they could arrange to pay without an internal investigation.

"If [Nike] wants a confidential solution and we are ready, they can buy it for $ 22.5 million and we are ready," Avenatti is quoted as saying. "Full confidentiality, we ride out to the sunset."

Avenatti set a deadline on Monday, March 25, to reach an agreement and arrange another meeting. Early Monday afternoon, Avenatti tweeted : "Tmrw at 11.00 ET, we hold a press conference to reveal a great high school / college basketball scandal committed by @Nike we have discovered."

He was arrested when he showed up for the New York meeting, US lawyer Geoffrey Berman said at a press conference.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Nike said it "Nike has collaborated with the government's investigation of NCAA basketball for over a year. When Nike became aware of this issue , Nike immediately reported it to the federal prosecutor, "the company said. "Nike strongly believes in ethical and fair play in both business and sports and continues to assist the prosecutors."

In the California case, prosecutors accused Avenatti of wire scams and said he negotiated a $ 1.6 million deal for a customer but used the money for personal use and to pay for his coffee business.

Avenatti is also guilty of bank fraud in California. According to the criminal complaint, Avenatti lied about his income to receive more than $ 4 million in loans from a Mississippi bank in 2014. The complaint alleges that Avenatti gave Peoples Bank false returns showing more than $ 14 million in profits for the previous three years. In fact, the complaint alleged that Avenatti never yielded returns for those years and owed IRS $ 850,000 from previous years.

Avenatti came up with his presentation by Daniels, the adult movie star who claimed that she had a deal with President Trump and was paid for her silence in the weeks before the 2016 election. On Monday Daniels said she tied up with Avenatti more than a month ago "after discovering he had treated me extremely dishonestly."

Lex Haris contributed to this report.

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