Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday afternoon in Manhattan, law enforcement officials tell CNN. He is set to appear in court later Monday. According to the complaint, Avenatti had a meeting on March 19 with attorneys for Nike. He then allegedly proceeded to threaten 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.
It seems Avenatti was going to have a press conference to expose Nike 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. Avenatti also allegedly demanded that Nike pay $1.5 million to an individual he claimed to represent.
Lawyers from the firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, according to people associated closely to the situation, contacted federal prosecutors to inform them of Avenatti’s threats, the complaint says.
The Feds then ordered one of the attorneys to arrange a call and a meeting with Avenatti, both of which were recorded and monitored by investigators.
I’ll go take $10 billion off your client’s market cap … I’m not f***ing around,Michael Avenatti
Federal prosecutors in California charged Avenatti in a separate case involving wire and bank fraud — charges that could bring a maximum sentence of 50 years in federal prison.
Michael Avenatti has been an integral part of the investigation of R & B star R. Kelly over sex tapes with minors. As of this moment, there is no idea on how this will affect that situation with Avenatti under these charges.