|Michael Avenatti, left, charged and Mark Geagos, right, not charged|
According to the US Attorneys office in NY, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the arrest today of MICHAEL AVENATTI on federal extortion and interstate threat charges. As alleged, AVENATTI, an attorney, attempted to extract more than $20 million in payments from a publicly traded company 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. AVENATTI was simultaneously arrested on separate charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. AVENATTI will be presented today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.
AVENATTI further stated that he would refrain from holding that press conference and damaging Nike if Nike agreed to two demands: (1) Nike must pay $1.5 million to Client-1 as a settlement for any claims Client-1 might have regarding Nike’s decision not to renew its contract with the team coached by Client-1; and (2) Nike must hire AVENATTI and CC-1 to conduct an internal investigation of Nike, with a provision that if Nike hired another firm to conduct such an internal investigation, Nike would still be required to pay AVENATTI and CC-1 at least twice the fees of any other firm hired. AVENATTI made clear that Nike would have to agree to accept those demands on a very short time frame. Nike immediately contacted the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which launched an investigation in conjunction with the FBI.
This sounds like a purim story, where everything reverses, 'mehupach", Avenatti tried to destroy Trump and now Avenatti takes a hit. The feds do their homework so Avenatti will have a tough time wriggling out of this mess. As per Mark Geragos, the unnamed co conspirator who was not charged, this means that he is cooperating with the feds and maybe threw the towel in first.
To see what Avenatti is facing , go here...