Nike Responds To Allegations Of Zion Williamson Payment

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The legal team of Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who the US government has accused of extorting Nike for millions of dollars, has fired back in a motion filed Wednesday to dismiss the case.

Interestingly, in order to make these under-the-table payments, "Nike executives directed Coach Franklin to submit false invoices to Nike to disguise the payments as travel expenses and sponsorships for 501 (c) (3) organizations" alleges Avenatti. Of course, Williamson ultimately went on to suit up for Duke, a Nike school, while Langford played for Adidas-sponsored Indiana. Avenatti has pleaded not guilty.

The bulk of Wednesday's court filing revolves around the Avenatti legal team's argument that federal investigators mishandled the case that led to charges against him earlier this year.

He said that if he were "attorney Doe", he would not have been arrested or charged. Since March, more than 40 charges have been brought against Avenatti in NY and California.

"While the FBI was conducting its criminal investigation into the illegal payment to Daniels, Mr. Avenatti was President Trump's chief antagonist in the civil arena and in the court of public opinion", the motion says.

Prosecutors declined through a spokesman to comment.

Nike has denied wrongdoing.


Avenatti represented Daniels over a nondisclosure deal regarding Daniels' claims that she had an affair with Trump. Avenatti claimed in the motion that Stovall told James and DeBose in a later conversation that "they still "had not presented our new offer" to Williamson but agreed that it was not a good idea 'to put it in print'".

Avenatti is also charged separately with defrauding Daniels in a book deal, and he faces federal fraud charges in California related to clients.

The lawyers said "widespread corruption of amateur basketball at Nike" was revealed in evidence given to Avenatti's lawyers as they prepare for a November trial. There was no claim a payment was made.

The EYBL, an acronym for the Elite Youth Basketball League, often features highly-touted young players projected to be stars at either the collegiate or NBA level. She said that if asked why she had that much cash, she would say "I just sold my auto".

Nike said in a statement: "Nike will not respond to the allegations of an individual facing federal charges of fraud and extortion".

In a statement, Kentucky said that the athletic department remains "committed to compliance in all facets. and will work closely with the NCAA and Southeastern Conference when necessary on any and all matters".

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