Authorities add charges against Michael Avenatti in extortion case
Disgraced attorney and outspoken Trump enemy Michael Avenatti has just been charged with a new count of honest services wire fraud in connection to his alleged extortion of sportswear company, Nike.
In a more shocking turn of events, authorities dropped two charges of conspiracy to extort the company. Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer was first charged in March with extortion, the transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort.
The charges were brought against Avenatti when it was discovered that he had allegedly planned to extort almost $25 million from athletic-wear company Nike.
He was arrested by the Feds on March 25th, after he tweeted “Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”
It’s been alleged that prior to that tweet, he threatened Nike with “exposing” misconduct right before the company was set to announce their quarterly earnings.
Avenatti triumphantly tweeted in response to the dropped charges on Wednesday that “I am extremely pleased that the two counts alleging I engaged in a conspiracy against Nike have just been dismissed by Trump’s DOJ. I expect to be fully exonerated when it is all said and done.”
Avenatti still faces serious charges in several other cases for stealing money from former clients, including Stormy Daniels.
Avenatti’s trial is set to begin in January of 2020.