“Creepy porn lawyer” Michael Avenatti was accused Monday by federal prosecutors in New York of operating “an old-fashioned shakedown” — attempting to extort between $15 and $25 million from sports apparel giant Nike.
Avenatti, who briefly floated the idea of a possible bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also was charged with wire fraud and bank fraud in a separate case out of California. He was taken into custody at a law firm where he had gone to meet with Nike executives. A magistrate judge in Manhattan federal court ordered his release on $300,000 bond. He did not enter a plea.
Prosecutors said 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.”