Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti was arrested in New York on Monday for allegedly attempting to obtain upwards of $25 million USD out of Nike. Avenatti and a co-conspirator (a California lawyer) threatened to reveal Nike’s involvement in the continuous high school/college basketball scandal if they didn’t got the aforementioned sum.
The former lawyer for Stormy Daniels in her suit against President Trump satisfied with Nike agents on March 19, where he threatened to hold a press conference the following day, on the eve of Nike’s quarterly incomes call and the start of the NCAA tournament, accusing the company of involvement in the high school/college basketball bribery scandal. He requested several multimillion dollar payments under the guise of legal work in exchange for remaining quiet, or “[he’ll] go take $10 billion [USD] off of [Nike’s] market cap.” Nike alerted the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that same day to launch its own investigation into the matter.
ESPN reports that Avenatti was representing AAU coach Gary Franklin of the California Supreme program in Los Angeles, whose contract Nike had just recently decided not to renew. In the March 19 meeting, Avenatti and Franklin told Nike’s legal team that they had evidence that “one or more Nike employees had authorized and funded payments to the families of leading high school basketball players and/or their families and attempted to hide those payments, comparable to conduct including a competitor company [adidas] that had just recently been the subject of a criminal prosecution in this District. Avenatti recognized three former high school players in specific, and indicated that his client was mindful of payments to others as well.”
While those gamers have not yet been named, ESPN does state that Franklin’s previous gamers consist of NBA-ers Deandre Ayton (a PUMA professional athlete) and De’Anthony Melton (a Nike athlete) of the Suns, Solomon Hill (Nike) of the Pelicans, and Aaron Vacation (Nike) of the Pacers.
In a statement, Nike said, “Nike will not be extorted or hide info that is pertinent to a federal government examination. Nike has been working together with the federal government’s examination into NCAA basketball for over a year,” the company stated. “When Nike ended up being aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal district attorneys. When Mr. Avenatti tried to obtain Nike over this matter, Nike with the assistance of outside counsel at Boies Schiller Flexner, assisted the examination.”
“Nike strongly believes in ethical and fair play, both in service and sports, and will continue to help the prosecutors,” the business stated.
The bad news didn’t stop there for Avenatti, as the attorney was also charged in a second federal case in Los Angeles with embezzling a customer’s loan “in order to pay his own expenses and financial obligations” and those of his law company, and for “defrauding a bank in Mississippi.”
Stay tuned as we’ll be sure to update you on this case as well as the ongoing scandal between high school athletes, college programs and shoes brands.
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to divulge a significant high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have exposed. This criminal conduct reaches the greatest levels of Nike and includes some of the most significant names in college basketball.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019