Attorney Michael Avenatti has been sentence to two-and-a-half years in prison for attempted extortion of Nike, according to multiple reports.
Avenatti, who gained prominence in 2018 when he represented Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump, was convicted of extortion charges last year regarding his representation of a Los Angeles youth basketball coach Gary Franklin Sr., who had his sponsorship ended by Nike.
Avenatti was convicted of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening bad publicity against the company. The 50-year-old lawyer threatened to accuse the company of being involved in college basketball’s “pay for play” bribery scandal.
“U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe called Avenatti’s conduct ‘outrageous,’ saying he ‘hijacked his client’s claims, and he used those claims to further his own agenda, which was to extort millions of dollars from Nike for himself,'” the Associated Press wrote on Thursday.
BREAKING: Attorney Michael Avenatti has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for attempted extortion. Avenatti was convicted of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening the company with bad publicity. https://t.co/sGXWq1Xdg4
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 8, 2021
In addition to this extortion scheme, Avenatti was accused in 2019 of embezzling nearly $2 million from NBA center Hassan Whiteside.
All in all, a tremendous fall for a man who briefly considered running for the Democratic presidential nomination a few years ago.