New York — Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles against US President Donald Trump, was arrested on Monday and charged with trying to extort more than $20m from Nike, federal prosecutors said. The US Attorney’s offices in New York and Los Angeles separately filed charges against Avenatti, with the California case accusing him of embezzling a client’s money to cover his own debts, as well as using phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans from a bank. New York prosecutors said Avenatti and an unnamed co-conspirator met with Nike’s attorneys on March 19 and tried to extort the company into paying them between $15m and $25m and an additional $1.5m to a client of Avenatti’s by threatening to make public allegations against the company. Prosecutors said Avenatti also offered to accept a $22.5m payment to resolve any claims the client might have, and to “buy Avenatti’s silence”. In a March 20 follow-up call with Nike’s ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now