Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is found guilty in Nike extortion case

UPDATE 2-Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is found guilty in Nike extortion case
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

A U.S. jury on Friday found Michael Avenatti guilty in a criminal trial accusing the celebrity lawyer of trying to extort Nike Inc out of millions of dollars and defraud a youth basketball coach he represented. Jurors in Manhattan federal court needed 2-1/2 days to decide the fate of Avenatti, a brash lawyer all but unknown until two years ago when he began representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump and making hundreds of television appearances.

Avenatti, 48, who positioned his chair so he could face the jurors during his 2-1/2-week trial, stared at them as the verdict was read. He could get more than 40 years in prison at his scheduled June 17 sentencing. "Of course there will be an appeal, yes," Avenatti's lawyer Scott Srebnick told reporters after the verdict.

Avenatti also faces scheduled criminal trials this spring in Manhattan on charges he defrauded Daniels out of proceeds from a book contract, and in California on charges he defrauded several other clients and lied to the Internal Revenue Service. He has been jailed in Manhattan since Jan. 17 after California prosecutors said he violated his bail conditions.

Avenatti shook hands with and got a pat on the back from members of his legal team following Friday's verdict, before a court officer led him away. The defendant was convicted of trying to shake down Nike by threatening to hold a press conference to discuss allegations the sports apparel company made illegal payments to families of college basketball recruits.

Prosecutors said Avenatti told Nike he could wipe billions of dollars off its market value, but would keep quiet if it paid him and another lawyer up to $25 million to conduct an internal probe, and paid the coach Gary Franklin $1.5 million. Avenatti was also convicted of defrauding Franklin by not telling him he was demanding a probe before agreeing to settle.

Prosecutors said Avenatti wanted a big payday to cover at least $11 million of his own debts. Avenatti's trial included multiple recordings of his negotiations with Nike's lawyers. Franklin testified for prosecutors that he did not want a probe or press conference.

"The jury clearly saw the defendant's scheme for what it was - an old fashioned shakedown," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. Nike has denied wrongdoing.

Lawyers for Avenatti argued their client had acted in good faith and did exactly what Franklin wanted. Avenatti did not testify, after his trial judge said prosecutors could question him about his dealings with other clients, without mentioning the criminal charges.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...


Latest News

Parayko's OT winner caps Blues' comeback over Islanders

Colton Parayko scored a wraparound goal in overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues over the visiting New York Islanders 3-2 Thursday night. The Blues won their sixth consecutive game after rallying from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime.Brayden ...

Ruggs misses Ross' 40 record, still makes history

Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III came up came up five-hundredths of a second short of John Ross record in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday, though his time was still the fastest in the field. Rug...

We were little conservative in first Test: Ravi Shastri

As India aims to win the second Test and level the two-match series, India coach Ravi Shastri on Friday said that his side was a little conservative and tentative in the first Test. India was handed its first defeat in the World Test Champi...

FIFA kicks off process to agree match calendar from 2024

Zurich, Feb 28 AP FIFA began the process Thursday of sorting out how to fit international games into soccers congested schedule from 2024, with complex talks expected to find agreement with clubs, leagues and player unions The so-called Int...

Give Feedback