Michael Avenatti Found Guilty on All Three Counts in Nike Extortion Trial

Michael Avenatti guilty on all counts: jury

Michael Avenatti is found GUILTY on all counts in Nike extortion case

On Friday, a jury in NY convicted the lawyer, who is best know for once representing Stormy Daniels, on all three counts; attempted extortion, honest services wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.

The verdict marks a victory for the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, which brought the case previous year following a swift investigation.

Avenatti, who made headlines as the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels during her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, was accused of trying to extort Nike for $25 million.

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"Today a unanimous jury found Michael Avenatti guilty of misusing his client's information in an effort to extort tens of millions of dollars from the athletic apparel company Nike", Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.

Defense counsel had strongly denied that money was a factor in the case, saying Avenatti's price tag for helming an internal probe was a bargain, saying such probes cost more than $100 million.

Besides the extortion trial, Avenatti also faces an April trial in NY on charges that he defrauded Daniels of book proceeds and a May trial in Los Angeles on charges that he defrauded clients and others of millions of dollars.

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Gary Franklin, the youth basketball coach who Michael Avenatti represented, testified last week that he was bullied by Nike executives who forced him to make the illicit payments to top high school basketball players and their families. In addition to the Nike charges, Manhattan federal prosecutors accused him of swindling Daniels out of almost $300,000 for a book deal.

The meetings with Avenatti "evolved into really a shakedown", Benjamin Homes, an attorney for Nike's outside law firm, told the court. At the time, Nike had been cooperating with Manhattan federal prosecutors in an investigation into corruption in college basketball. Avenatti alleged that Justice Kavanaugh engaged in "gang rape".

Avenatti's defense lawyer told reporters he will appeal on the basis of jury instructions and said Avenatti was "very disappointed" with the verdict. "He was on a mission to achieve the goals of his client, and again he would be paid along the way", Mr. Srebnick said during closing arguments.

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