Early Monday, Michael Avenatii, the famous high profile attorney who have represented celebrities and other public figures, was arrested after the Federal prosecutors in New York announced that they filed charges against him regarding the so-called major announcement he publicized against Nike, and the allegation involving a ‘major school/college basketball scandal.’
According to the lawsuit, Michael Avenatti attempted to conspire with another party to “extract more than $20 million in payments from a publicly traded company by using his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.” In an 11-page complaint, prosecutors said that Avenatti met with Nike’s attorneys demanding ‘to make a multi-million dollar payment” and make an additional 1.5 million dollar payment to an individual that the lawyer refers to like his client.
Read More: BREAKING: MICHAEL AVENATTI CHARGED WITH FIVE COUNTS OF CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT EXTORTION OVER THREATS TO EXPOSE A MAJOR SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCANDAL INVOLVING NIKE
The case is based on the affidavit submitted by Special Agent Christopher Harper from the FBI who investigated Avenatti’s alleged extortion attempt. The court document obtained by Z6Mag on the case provided a detailed account of the actions of the infamous lawyer that lead to him facing five counts of conspiracy to commit extortion.
Special Agent Harper said in his affidavit that based his statements from Based on my conversations with other law enforcement officers, review of notes, text messages, and emails, and discussions with Attorney-1 who represents Nike.
MARCH 13, 2019
The certain Attorney-1 learned from a Nike representative the Michael Avenatti wanted to have a word and discuss something essential. He added that the discussion should occur in person, not over the phone, as it pertained to a sensitive matter.
MARCH 15, 2019
The Nike attorney called Michael Avenatti over the phone and said he was trying to be discreet on the phone, but that Avenatti insisted on talking with representatives of Nike in person.
MARCH 19, 2019
Three lawyers from Nike, who in the document were referred to as “Attorney-1”, “Attorney-2”, an “In-House Attorney,” went to the office of the alleged partner of Avenatti in New York.
According to Avenatti, “Client-1” had evidence that one or more Nike employees had authorized and funded payments to the families of top high school basketball players and/or their families and attempted to conceal those payments, similar to conduct involving a rival* company that had recently been the subject of a criminal prosecution in this District. AVENATTI identified three former high school players in particular and indicated that his client was aware of payments to others as well. The client was said to be an AAU coach, whose team have previously made deals with Nike. According to the affidavit, Nike refused to renew the contract with Avenatti’s client further.
The affidavit revealed that Avenatti said that he intended to hold a press conference the following day to publicize the asserted misconduct at Nike, which would negatively affect Nike’s market value. He said that he had approached Nike because he knew that the annual NCAA tournament an event of significance to Nike and its brand was about to begin and further because he was aware that Nike’s quarterly earnings call was scheduled for March 21, 2019, thus maximizing the potential financial and reputational damage his press conference could cause to Nike.
That’s when Michael Avenatti allegedly made the following demands to buy his silence:
(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 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 the infamous lawyer at least twice the fees of any other firm hired.
Diuring the meeting, the lawyer and the certain CC-1 demanded to be “retained” by Nike to conduct an “internal investigation – an investigation that the global athletic brand did not request. Avenatti and his cohort also allegedly demanded payment for their work in the said “internal investigation” with a retainer’s fee amounting to $22.5 million.
Read More: COURT DOCUMENT ALLEGES MICHAEL AVENATTI OF DEMANDING PAYMENTS FROM NIKE TO CONDUCT AN ‘INTERNAL INVESTIGATION’ THAT THE COMPANY DID NOT REQUEST
Nike’s attorney later left a voicemail message to CC-1 to ask for more time with which Avenatti responded by giving them two days. Following the meeting, Nike’s lawyers contacted the representatives of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York regarding threats and extortionate demands.
MARCH 20, 2019
Nike’s representatives made a law enforcement-monitored call to Avenatti and his partner where the former presidential hopeful reiterated that he expected to “get a million five for our guy? Client-1) and be “hired to handle the internal investigation” adding that and “if you don’t wanna do that, we’re done here.”
“I’m not fucking around with this, and I’m not continuing to play games. . . . You guys know enough now to know you’ve got a serious problem. And it’s worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing. A few million dollars doesn’t move the needle for me. I’m just being really frank with you. So if that’s what, if that’s what’s being contemplated, then let’s just say it was good to meet you, and we?re done. And I’ll proceed with my press conference tomorrow . . . . I’m not fucking around with this thing anymore. So if you guys think that you know, we’re gonna negotiate a million five, and you’re gonna hire us to do an internal investigation, but it’s gonna be capped at 3 or 5 or 7 million dollars, like let’s just be done. And I’ll go and I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap. But I’m not fucking around.”
MARCH 21, 2019
Avenatti and his partner once again met with Nike’s representatives. This time, the lawyers from Nike are under the orders of law enforcement. The meeting allowed both parties to negotiate about the payment to be made to Avenatti’s client and Avenatti and CC-1 for their work in the “internal investigation.”
MARCH 25, 2019
Avenatti posted a Twitter announcement for a supposed expose and that he will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal by Nike that he and his team have discovered. “This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”
On the same date, the charges were officially filed against him, and he was arrested. He is also charged with of wire fraud and bank fraud in the Central District of California. /apr