Michael Avenatti convicted of trying to extort Nike

Michael Avenatti guilty on all counts: jury

On Friday, a jury in NY convicted the lawyer, who is best know for once representing Stormy Daniels, on all three counts; attempted extortion, honest services wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who once represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump, was found guilty of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike.

Besides the extortion trial, Avenatti also faces an April trial in NY on charges that he defrauded Daniels of book proceeds and a May trial in Los Angeles on charges that he defrauded clients and others of millions of dollars.

This is a developing story.

Michael Avenatti has been convicted on all counts in his Nike extortion case.

He is being held in jail for allegedly violating the terms of his bail in the California case.

Avenatti maintained he was taking the aggressive position at the urging of his client, Gary Franklin, who ran a youth basketball league in Los Angeles and was angry that Nike ended a decade-long sponsorship that provided $72,000 annually and free gear.

In exchange for not going public, Avenatti told the lawyers in one meeting Nike would have to pay Franklin US$1.5 million for any claims he had and immediately pay Avenatti and another attorney $12 million, and guarantee $15 to $25 million in payments for an internal investigation, prosecutors said. In a third set of federal charges, prosecutors in Manhattan have charged Mr. Avenatti with embezzling money meant for Ms. Daniels. All of Avenatti's claims were proven to be fabricated.

Franklin testified he did not want a probe or press conference, preferring a quiet settlement. In addition to the Nike charges, Manhattan federal prosecutors accused him of swindling Daniels out of almost $300,000 for a book deal.

The jury of six men and six women in Manhattan didn't buy Avenatti's defense that he had merely engaged in tough negotiations on behalf of a client who wanted him to "take on" Nike.

They had looked up firms that had "successfully sued Nike" and said it was time to "go after Nike". defense attorney Scott Srebnick said in closing arguments.

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