On Tuesday, Michael Avenatti, a celebrity lawyer was arrested as he was accused of violating the terms of his release from custody while waiting for trial on charges. The charges included that he wanted to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc., as per federal prosecutors.
48 years old Avenatti’s trial regarding the Nike case is set to begin next week. Agents from the Internal Revenue Service took him into custody, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.
According to Mrozek, he was not permitted to disclose the allegations that resulted in Avenatti’s arrest because the documents had been sealed by a judge. An arrest warrant that was filed in U.S. District Court in New York also does not point out the accusations.
Avenatti was in the international spotlight for representing Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who was in a legal battle with U.S. President Donald Trump. Avenatti’s appearance in federal court in Santa Ana was scheduled on Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Avenatti’s request to delay his trial in the Nike case was rejected by a federal judge in New York, after his lawyers complained that prosecutors had thrown a pile of “document dump” of new material, and it was overwhelming.
Avenatti is charged for giving threats to publicize a client’s claims that Nike had improperly paid the families of college basketball recruits. Blackmailing the sportswear company to pay him to conduct an internal investigation for $15 million to $25 million, and pay an additional amount of $1.5 million to the client.
Avenatti has pleaded not guilty while Nike has declined about any wrongdoing.
Accused with more Charges
The famous lawyer is also going to face an April 21 trial in Manhattan over allegations that he cheated Daniels out of proceeds from a book contract, followed by a May 19 hearing in Santa Ana, California over accusations of cheating clients out of millions of dollars and lying to the Internal Revenue Service.
He is also pleading not guilty for those charges.
Avenatti became a prominent critic of Trump and frequent cable TV guest while representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Daniels accused Trump of a nondisclosure agreement that forbade her (in the weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election) from discussing her claims that they had had an extramarital affair 10 years earlier.
Avenatti will face at least 30 years in prison if convicted on the California charges and up to 20 years in the New York indictment.
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