California Attorney Michael Avenatti who became famous for representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her famous lawsuit involving the United States President Donald Trump and his then-lawyer Michel Cohen was reportedly under excessive debt when he tried to extort money from Nike Inc according to US prosecutors. Avenatti has denied the claims and has stated that they are false.
According to US Prosecutors, the California lawyer was owed more than $15 million when he allegedly tried to extort Nike Inc of almost $25 million regarding their alleged improper payments to athletes. In an emailed statement, Avenatti claimed that all allegations stating that he was $15 million in debt are 'bogus' and added that the truth and facts will come to light during the trial and he expects to be fully exonerated. Avenatti's trial is scheduled for late January in 2020.
He was arrested in the Nike case back in March and since then has had to defend himself against a variety of criminal charges. These included allegations of him stealing $300,000 from Daniels during her book deal in Manhattan, Avenatti allegedly forged Stormy's signature to divert two instalments worth around $ 150,000 to his personal bank accounts from her $800,000 advance. Avenatti was also accused of wire fraud, bank fraud and stealing from clients.
In regards to the allegations made against Avnatti in the Nike case, he has claimed that he has been targeted unfairly because of his involvement with Stormy Daniels and leading the lawsuit against Donald Trump. Assistant US Attorney Matthew Podolsky in a statement said that the case against Avenatti is a very straightforward honest services fraud case that usually brought against public officials, therefore this will be an exception. For now, the California lawyer remains free on bail.