Avenatti faces bank and wire fraud charges
LOS ANGELES – Attorney Michael Avenatti has been arrested by federal law enforcement officials on fraud charges in Los Angeles and New York.
New York prosecutors accuse the attorney of “attempting to extract more than $20 million in payments from a publicly traded company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”
In court papers, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York claims Avenatti threatened to release damaging information about Nike to the public unless he received multimillion-dollar payments.
The longtime foe of President Trump represented porn actress Stormy Daniels in her public war with the president.
Earlier this month, his firm, Eagan Avenatti, filed for federal bankruptcy protection. It is the second time in two years the firm has sought court protection from its creditors. The move comes three weeks after Jason Frank, a former lawyer at the firm, filed court papers accusing Avenatti of hiding millions of dollars from the court that oversaw its previous bankruptcy.
Avenatti has denied any wrongdoing.
– Los Angeles Times