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Lawyer Michael Avenatti Charged in $20 Million Nike Extortion Scam

The lawyer who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles against US President Donald Trump is accused of embezzling a client's money to cover his own debts.
Michael Avenatti | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Reuters

NEW YORK, United States — Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles against US President Donald Trump, was arrested on Monday and charged with extorting more than $20 million from Nike, federal prosecutors said.

The US Attorneys offices in New York and Los Angeles separately filed charges against Avenatti, with the California case accusing him of embezzling a client's money to cover his own debts, as well as using phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans from a bank.

Avenatti threatened to expose allegations of misconduct from Nike employees unless the apparel company paid him and an unnamed co-conspirator $22.5 million to "buy Avenatti's silence," the New York complaint said.

By Joseph Ax; editor: Scott Malone.

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