A lawyer who has earned fame representing porn stars who filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump on Friday pleaded guilty to trying to extortionate the sportswear giant Nike. A federal jury in Manhattan returned the verdict after Avenatti tried to raise up to $ 20 million with threats of otherwise harming Nike after prosecutors were considering allegations of extortion and honest service fraud.
The possible possible punishment for this charge is 32 years in prison
Avenatti, 48, became prominent during frequent cable television appearances in 2018 and 2019, as reporters sought information about porn star Stormy Daniels before he became president and Trump’s claim about trying to get him to stay silent. On top of notoriety, Avenatti even considered becoming a candidate for president.
But a sharp fall from the power-broker’s reputation intensified when Avenatti was arrested when he was due to meet with Nike’s lawyers last March and to demand an investment of millions of dollars for an Oregon-based shoe maker Beverton’s internal investigation.
Avanati says he is taking the offensive position at the request of his client Gary Franklin, who runs a youth basketball league in Los Angeles, and was furious that Nike ended a decade-long sponsorship that ended up providing 72,000 annual and free gear. He also wanted $ 1.5 million for Franklin.
Franklin testified that two Nike employees forced him to pay the mother of an elite high school basketball player and pay other players to handlers while doing paperwork to hide the fund’s purpose.
Avanati did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of Franklin and an entertainment executive, who advised him to aggressively dismiss Nike’s corrupt officials and correct his culture.
In addition to the extortion trial, Avenatti also faces an April trial in New York alleging that he cheated Daniels and the May trial for book earnings in Los Angeles over allegations of dishonor to customers and several million dollars.
He is being held without bail. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles succeeded in stopping him after he was arrested for illegally smuggling money and violating $ 300,000 bail.