GUILTY: Michael Avenatti has been found guilty on all counts in Nike extortion trial

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Michael Avenatti is guilty on all three counts he was facing, according to a decision by a jury in federal court in New York.
Prosecutors say the lawyer threatened to publicly accuse athletic apparel maker Nike of illicitly paying amateur basketball players unless the company paid him millions of dollars.
The government said Avenatti also betrayed his client, a youth basketball coach who made the allegations, by advocating for money for himself instead of the client.
Avenatti was charged with transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, attempted extortion and honest services wire fraud.
He still faces two additional trials for allegedly stealing Stormy Daniels’ book advance and committing fraud in California. He is being held in jail for allegedly violating the terms of his bail in the California case.
A jury in federal court in New York reached a verdict Friday in the trial of Michael Avenatti.
Prosecutors say the lawyer threatened to publicly accuse athletic apparel maker Nike of illicitly paying amateur basketball players unless the company paid him millions of dollars.
The government said Avenatti also betrayed his client, a youth basketball coach who made the allegations, by advocating for money for himself instead of the client.
Avenatti was charged with transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort, attempted extortion and honest services wire fraud.
Gary Franklin, the youth basketball coach who Michael Avenatti represented, testified last week that he was bullied by Nike executives who forced him to make the illicit payments to top high school basketball players and their families. In 2018, the company ended its sponsorship of Franklin’s program, the California Supreme.
Franklin said he wanted Avenatti to get Nike to renew his team’s sponsorship and fire two Nike executives.
Avenatti was in “crushing debt” at the time and wanted to use Franklin’s case to make money, prosecutors said. The high-powered attorney saw Franklin as a “meal ticket,” they argued.
Nike lawyers who took the stand during the trial said Avenatti told them he would hold a press conference claiming the company illegally paid players.
In exchange for not going public, Avenatti told the lawyers in one meeting Nike would have to pay Franklin $1.5 million for any claims he had and immediately pay Avenatti and another attorney $12 million, and guarantee $15 to $25 million in payments for an internal investigation, prosecutors said.
Benjamin Homes, an associate attorney for Nike’s outside law firm who took notes during several of the meetings with Avenatti, testified that it “evolved into really a shakedown.”
Franklin testified he was shocked to find out Avenatti was planning a press conference.