Celebrity attorney and attention craver Michael Avenatti is back in the headlines. According to reports, Avennati is being charged for attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike. NBC News reports Avenatti attempted “to extract more than $20 million in payments from Nike by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”
The news was confirmed by the United States Southern District of New York.
Avenatti was arrested by FBI agents in Midtown Manhattan.
He has been charged with extortion and bank and wire fraud.
TMZ Sports had more:
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York says Avenatti was representing a client who was the coach of an AAU Youth Club basketball team. Prosecutors say Avenatti gave Nike an option … don’t hire him but pay $22.5 million to resolve the dispute and buy his silence. The complaint says Avenatti claimed the AAU coach had evidence that one or more Nike employees had funded payments to the families of top high school basketball players and attempted to conceal those payments.
News of Avenatti’s arrest came minutes after the former Stormy Daniels attorney took to his own Twitter account to tease a major announcement scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 involving a scandal with Nike and high school/college basketball players.
“Tomorrow at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball,” he wrote.
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
While there is no word on what alleged scandal Avenatti was attempting to promote, many believe it was something similar to the recruiting and bribery scandal which involved adidas and rocked the college basketball world a year ago.
Of course, the FBI appears to have thought out their pursue of the adidas corruption scandal much better than Avenatti planned out his attempt to “expose” Nike.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided when available.