Michael Avenatti is accused in alleged $20 million scheme against Nike

on Mar26
by | Comments Off on Michael Avenatti is accused in alleged $20 million scheme against Nike |

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, speaks at a news conference on March 25, 2019 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, speaks at a news conference on March 25, 2019 in New York City.

In the Los Angeles case, Avenatti is charged two criminal counts: wire fraud and bank fraud. His presentment in that case will occur at a later date.

In a statement, Nike said, “Nike will not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation.”

“Nike has been cooperating with the government’s investigation into NCAA basketball for over a year,” the company said. “When Nike became aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal prosecutors. When Mr. Avenatti attempted to extort Nike over this matter, Nike with the assistance of outside counsel at Boies Schiller Flexner, aided the investigation.”

“Nike firmly believes in ethical and fair play, both in business and sports, and will continue to assist the prosecutors,” the company said.

Avenatti’s law firm in Los Angeles had no immediate comment. The White House did not immediately comment.

But Trump’s re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted a reference to Avenatti’s arrest and to the release of a summary of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that did not end in criminal allegations against the president.

In the Los Angeles federal case, Avenatti is accused in a 197-page complaint of negotiating a $1.6 million settlement for a client in a civil case, but then giving the client “a bogus settlement agreement with a false payment date of March 10, 2018.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said “Avenatti misappropriated his client’s settlement money and used it to pay expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee stores in California and Washington state, as well as for his own expenses.”

“When the fake March 2018 deadline passed and the client asked where the money was, Avenatti continued to conceal that the payment had already been received,” according to prosecutors.



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