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Michael Avenatti Charged with Extortion and Fraud

HeadlineMar 26, 2019

Attorney Michael Avenatti was charged with extortion, bank fraud and wire fraud in two separate cases Monday. In Los Angeles, Avenatti—who first came into the public spotlight as Stormy Daniels’s lawyer in her hush money case against President Trump—was accused of embezzling $1.6 million from a California client and using it to pay for expenses related to his coffee shop business.

Meanwhile, in New York, federal prosecutors accused Avenatti of attempting to extort Nike to the tune of over $20 million in what the Manhattan U.S. attorney called an “old-fashioned shakedown.” Avenatti allegedly threatened to reveal damaging information on improper payments made by Nike to student athletes unless they either paid him off or retained his services. Avenatti, who was arrested and later released on bond, has denied the charges.

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