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Home » IANS » Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer arrested for extortion, fraud

Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer arrested for extortion, fraud

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New York, March 26 (IANS) Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her case against US President Donald Trump, was arrested after he was charged in two criminal cases over complaints that he allegedly attempted to extort over $20 million from Nike and also for committing wire and bank fraud.

Avenatti was arrested on Monday in Manhattan, law enforcement officials told CNN.

He was however, released on a $300,000 bond later in the night and said outside a federal court here that he was “highly confident” that he will be “fully exonerated.”

The criminal complaint unsealed in the New York case describes a rapid investigation that unfolded over the course of the past six days, beginning March 19.

According to the complaint, Avenatti on March 19 met attorneys for Nike and threatened to release what he said were allegations of misconduct by employees on the eve of both its quarterly earnings call and the start of the NCAA tournament.

Avenatti would disclose the allegations at a press conference, according to the complaint, unless Nike made millions in payments to him and an unnamed co-conspirator by hiring them to conduct an “internal investigation”, for which he later requested between $15 million and $20 million.

After the meeting, Nike’s outside counsel, lawyers from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP contacted federal prosecutors to inform them of Avenatti’s threats.

In the second case, federal prosecutors in California charged Avenatti for wire and bank fraud — charges that could bring a maximum sentence of 50 years in federal prison.

The California complaint alleged he “embezzled a client’s money in order to pay his own expenses and debts, as well as those of his coffee business and law firm, and also defrauded a bank by using phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans”.

On Monday, after the two sets of charges against Avenatti became public, Daniels said she was “saddened but not shocked” at the news, CNN reported.

“I made the decision more than a month ago to terminate Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly and there will be more announcements to come,” she said in a statement.



(This story has not been edited by Newsd staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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