Michael Avenatti With Multiple Crimes in NY and LA

Months ago, Michael Avenatti, the abrasive TV pundit and lawyer for Stormy Daniels, was suggesting he should be President. Today, he was charged in Federal Court with two sets of crimes:

Lawyer Michael Avenatti was hit with a one-two punch of federal charges on Monday: an allegation in New York that he tried to extort Nike for up to $25 million and an accusation in California that he misappropriated a client’s settlement money.

....Minutes later, on the opposite coast, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman told reporters that Avenatti had “used legal and extortionate threats with the purpose of obtaining millions of dollars in payments for himself”—an old-fashioned shakedown.

Here is the Press Release from the SDNY. The Criminal Complaint and Affidavit is here. [More...]

[Avenatti is]charged with one count of conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, one count of transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison, and one count of extortion, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

In the Nike scheme, Avenatti was allegedly aided by an unnamed co-conspirator (CC-1) who is "an attorney licensed in California who's known for his representation of celebrity and public figure clients." Multiple news sources say this refers to Mark Geragos.

CC-1 has not been charged. Is he just an uncharged co-conspirator or a "co-operating co-conspirator"? It sounds to me like the latter.

How it unfolded: Nike's lawyers went to the U.S. Attorneys office after Avenatti and CC-1 made their demand to be paid $25 million in legal fees to conduct an internal investigation of Nike that Nike hadn't requested.

The Nike lawyers, at the direction of law enforcement, recorded Avenatti and CC-1 both in person and on the phone. From the Affidavit in support of the Complaint, it's not clear to me whether CC-1 was acting as Avenatti's lawyer during Avenatti's negotiations or his partner. Either way, the recorded conversations appear to support charging both. But CC-1 has not been charged. From the press release:

On March 21, 2019, at the direction of law enforcement, representatives of Nike met again with AVENATTI and CC-1. During the meeting, AVENATTI reiterated his demand for a $1.5 million payment for his client and, with respect to his demand to be retained for an internal investigation, AVENATTI stated, in substance and in part, that he and CC-1 would require a $12 million retainer to be paid immediately and to be “deemed earned when paid,” with a minimum guarantee of $15 million in billings and a maximum fee of $25 million, “unless the scope changes.”

According to CNN,

Avenatti was arrested this morning outside of the offices of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP in Manhattan, according to a source. A Nike lawyer, who cooperated with the investigation and is referred to as "Attorney-1" in in the charges, is Boies Schiller Flexner LLP partner Scott Wilson, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Avenatti's charges in LA pertaining to him allegedly taking $1.6 million of a client's funds in his trust account and using them for his own ends. He allegedly gave the client $130,000 (of the client's own money) to him as an advance.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Surely we are not suggesting (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:42:59 PM EST
    Criminal activity disqualifies him as president in our "new normal"?


    No it's a statement (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:50:23 PM EST
    of how far he has fallen from the status he thought he had and the media bought into.

    Not sure I ever considered voting for him (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:52:22 PM EST
    I just thought he was hot



    Most peeps know my position (none / 0) (#4)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:19:10 PM EST
    on Avenatti; he is one of the few individuals who can make Trump look good by comparison.

    Thing is he may have some street cred in his claim that Nike has been paying amateur sports figures under the table.  Not that they are the only shoe company that does it or that it is not against the law to try and extort them.

    What Avenatti may not understand is that peeps who buy Nike shoes probably don't have a problem with players being paid under the table; in fact they may be buying Nike shoes hoping to get paid themselves.  So his releasing this information may help Nike in the eyes of their customers instead of hurting them.  Kinda like the  Kaepernick thing where the Nike stock went up.  Avenatti's problem is white men can't jump.

    Update from the sports page. (none / 0) (#5)
    by ragebot on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 01:49:47 AM EST
    This link briefly covers the sorid history of Adidas paying off high school and college players (and their coaches) and notes Adidas was not bidding against itself to get players to go to schools that had a shoe contract with them.

    Avenatti claims to Oregon paid Bol Bol to get him to play there as well as a few other high profile players.  It also notes

    Edward Diskant, the lead prosecutor on the Adidas case, stood alongside U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman at his press conference announcing Avenatti's arrest.

    Good read for those who do not closely follow basketball.  It points out that Oregon is a flagship school for Nike and Maryland is a flagship school for Under Armor and claims there have been bidding wars between the two schools for players.

    Somewhat peripherally related (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 30, 2019 at 04:54:49 PM EST
    that bizarre Clare Bronfman connection.

    Michael doth get around..

    And, I'm generally in favor of sliding scales, but a 100 million bond for Clare? Whats that all about?