Avenatti Arrested for Allegedly Attempting to Extort Nike

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“When lawyers use their law licenses as weapons as a guise to extort payments for themselves, they are no longer acting as attorneys.  They are acting as criminals and they will be held responsible for their conduct,” said Berman.

On the other hand, FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeny Jr., commented, “This is nothing more than a straightforward case of extortion.” He emphasized that they will not tolerate this type of illegal behavior especially when a lawyer commits it. Sweeny added that a lawyer must “use his license to practice law, not to willfully violate it.

Avenatti is also facing separate charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.