Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti convicted in Nike extortion case

California attorney Michael Avenatti claims his case was political payback for his clashes with Trump

With his conviction, Avenatti could face more than 40 years in prison and is expected to be disbarred.

In the third case, he is accused of stealing $300,000 from Daniels, who he represented in her allegations against President Trump - who she says she had sex with - int he 2016 presidential election.

An amended indictment filed in mid-November removed two conspiracy counts but added the charge for honest services wire fraud, accusing Avenatti of lying to one of his clients as part of the extortion attempt.

Michael Avenatti was convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc. and defrauding a client in the process, completing a steep fall for a celebrity lawyer who shot to national attention by styling himself as a foil for President Donald Trump.

Avenatti, 48, who did not testify in his defense, pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he tried to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to expose corruption at the company unless he was allowed to conduct an investigation.

However, his fall from grace came when he was arrested a year ago as he was about to meet Nike lawyers to press his demands for millions to conduct an internal probe of the Beaverton, Ore. -based shoemaker.


Benjamin Homes, an associate attorney for Nike's outside law firm who took notes during several of the meetings with Avenatti, testified that it "evolved into really a shakedown".

The California lawyer was charged in March after he met with Nike attorneys to discuss claims by his client, a youth basketball coach, that the company bribed top players to attend colleges with Nike-sponsored teams. He looked straight ahead with a sad expression.

Avenatti's defense lawyer told reporters he will appeal on the basis of jury instructions and said Avenatti was "very disappointed" with the verdict.

Mr. Avenatti's lawyers pointed the jury to evidence that the coach had authorized Mr. Avenatti to be tough in discussions with Nike.

Avenatti's sentencing was scheduled for June 17.

He'll go on trial again in April on NY charges that he stole a book advance intended for Daniels, who fired him.

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