Attorney and former 2020 presidential hopeful (HA! Remember THAT?) Michael Avenatti was taken into custody by the federal authorities this morning and charged with trying to extort $20 million from Nike as well as bank and wire fraud charges for embezzling a client’s money to pay off debts and use for his own expenses.
Avenatti allegedly tried to extract millions in payments from Nike by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met, according to a complaint filed by the FBI in the Southern District of New York.
The U.S. attorney’s office in California also accused Avenatti of negotiating a settlement for $1.6 million to be paid in January 2018 and then using the funds to pay expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC.
The lawyer, who up until earlier this month represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her legal actions against Donald Trump after claiming she had an affair with the president, also allegedly defrauded a Mississippi bank by submitting false tax returns in order to obtain loans totaling $4.1 million which he allegedly used for his coffee business and law firm, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
How the mighty have fallen.
Related: Stormy Daniels just tweeted that she was “saddened but not shocked” by Avenatti’s arrest.