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Michael Avenatti Charged With Trying To Extort Nike

Michael Avenatti Charged With Trying To Extort Nike

Michael Avenatti, best known for representing Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump, was arrested Monday in a $20 million extortion attempt.

Avenatti Tweeted Monday morning he scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to discuss Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE)'s alleged role in a "major high school/college basketball scandal." Avenatti also wrote the alleged criminal conduct "reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball."

Shares of Nike tumbled, but quickly recovered most of its losses. Within one hour of Avenatti's Tweet, CNBC reported the lawyer has been arrested for bank fraud and an "alleged shakedown" of Nike.

CBS News Radio's Steven Portnoy said in a Tweet Avenatti may have told Nike he would release damaging information about the company unless it agrees to pay millions of dollars to him and a client.

A follow up Tweet from Portnoy added: "The complaint alleges Avenatti said he'd refrain from holding a press conference, if Nike paid his client $1.5 million & agreed to "retain" him to conduct an "internal investigation," for which he and a co-conspirator would be paid "at a minimum, between $15 and $25 million."

Avenatti also allegedly told Nike's attorneys if his demands are not met he will "take ten billion dollars" off the stock's market capitalization.

Nike's stock traded around $81.70 per share at time of publication.

Related Links:

Is Nike A Victim Of Its Own Success?

Experts React To Nike's Q3: Were Expectations Too High?

Public domain photo via Wikimedia.


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