Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Los Angeles charged attorney Michael Avenatti nearly simultaneously in two criminal cases Monday, unsealing complaints, that alleged he attempted to extort more than $20 million from Nike also that he committed wire and bank fraud.

Avenatti was arrested Monday afternoon in Manhattan, as law enforcement officials tell CNN.

Avenatti tried to extort Nike 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.

Prosecutors in Manhattan and Los Angeles

Michael Avenatti was taken into custody at a law firm where he had gone to meet with Nike executives.

The 48-year-old appeared Monday evening in Manhattan federal court, where a magistrate judge ordered his release on $300,000 bond.
Avenatti did not enter a plea.

Avenatti said outside federal court that he is “highly confident” that he will be “fully exonerated.”


Cover image credit: David McNew/Getty Images

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