Michael Avenatti faces new fraud cost in Nike extortion case


NEW YORK (Information) – Federal prosecutors on Wednesday unveiled a brand new fraud cost towards lawyer Michael Avenatti, accusing him of mendacity to a shopper as a part of his alleged effort to extort Nike Inc.

FILE PHOTO: Lawyer Michael Avenatti exits the US Courthouse within the Manhattan borough of New York Metropolis, U.S., October eight, 2019. Information/Brendan McDermid

The prosecutors additionally dropped two counts of conspiracy towards Avenatti from the case, which was first made public in March, based on a superseding indictment filed in federal court docket in Manhattan.

“I’m extraordinarily happy that the 2 counts alleging I engaged in a conspiracy towards Nike have simply been dismissed by Trump’s DOJ,” Avenatti wrote on Twitter, referring to the U.S. Division of Justice underneath President Donald Trump.

“I count on to be absolutely exonerated when it’s all mentioned and accomplished.”

Avenatti didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Avenatti, 48, grew to become well-known for representing porn star Stormy Daniels, whose actual title is Stephanie Clifford, in lawsuits involving Trump and his former private lawyer Michael Cohen. He additionally faces federal costs in Manhattan of stealing about $300,000 from Daniels after serving to her safe a guide contract.

Prosecutors had beforehand charged Avenatti with extortion, accusing him of threatening to publicize a declare by one in every of his shoppers, a basketball membership coach, that Nike organized for funds to elite school basketball recruits. Avenatti demanded that the athletic put on firm pay the coach $1.5 million and pay himself greater than $20 million, prosecutors mentioned.

The brand new indictment provides a declare that Avenatti defrauded the coach. Prosecutors mentioned Avenatti hid the truth that Nike agreed to pay the coach to settle the case so long as it didn’t need to pay Avenatti, and as an alternative continued making an attempt to make use of the case for his personal profit.

Federal prosecutors in Southern California have individually charged Avenatti with wire fraud, financial institution fraud and different crimes, saying he stole tens of millions of from shoppers.

Avenatti has pleaded not responsible to all the costs towards him.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Modifying by Richard Chang