Lawyer Michael Avenatti has been found guilty of three charges in relation to his attempt to extort up to $25 million from Nike. As CNBC reports, Avenatti was convicted on Friday, with the verdict arriving two years after he gained infamy for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles with President Donald Trump.
Avenatti was accused of trying to get millions off of Nike, threatening to reveal alleged evidence the company had bribed amateur basketball players. If they didn't pay him millions of dollars, he was set to go public with the supposed evidence. Prosecutors said the extortion attempt was part of a scheme to get out of the $11 million of debt he landed himself in. He is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, but it's unlikely he will do the full time.
"I’m not fucking around with this, and I’m not continuing to play games," he allegedly told Nike's lawyers last year before he was arrested. "You guys know enough now to know you’ve got a serious problem. And it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing. A few million dollars doesn’t move the needle for me." The decision from the jury arrived after around three weeks of testimony and he is set to be sentenced on June 17.
Just last month, he was jailed for alleged violations of his release bond. This isn't the only case he's currently involved in, either, as he allegedly scammed Stormy Daniels out of $300,000 in revenue for a book she put out. In California, meanwhile, he's accused of defrauding clients out of millions of dollars and also of perjury and tax fraud.