Michael Avenatti arrested for extortion, bank & wire fraud UPDATED

Michael Avenatti, CNN’s favorite guest at one time, was just today arrested for extortion against Nike and bank and wire fraud in California:

U.S. prosecutors on two coasts have charged Trump critic and attorney Michael Avenatti with bank and wire fraud and an extortion scheme involving Nike.


In the New York case, he was accused of threatening to use his ability to get publicity to harm the sports apparel giant Nike.

In the California case, Avenatti’s arrest was pursuant to a criminal complaint alleging he embezzled a client’s money in order to pay his own expenses and debts — as well as those of his coffee business and law firm — and also defrauded a bank by using phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans. A felony complaint charges him with wire and bank fraud.


In the New York case, Avenatti was charged with conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion, transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort and extortion. The charges carry a potential penalty of 47 years in prison.

Is it really that much of a surprise the guy tried to shake down a multi-billion dollar corporation? As I’m sure you’ve not forgotten, Michael Avenatti proved himself to be the walking, talking cliche of a sleazy lawyer when he took media by storm (pun intended) and lived on the set of CNN during his time representing Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in her ill-fated lawsuit against President Trump. Tucker Carlson even took to naming him the creepy porn lawyer, a moniker that couldn’t fit anyone better.

And let’s not forget how he trotted out the clearly disturbed Julie Swetnick during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, giving her the national forum to accuse Justice Kavanaugh of the most lascivious and disgusting behavior, all of which were bald-faced lies. As a result, Senator Chuck Grassley referred both Avenatti and Swetnick to the DOJ for a criminal investigation for lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Oh, and his ex-wife says he still owes $2 million in child support.

Can you believe this disaster of a human being publicly contemplated running for president?

Update: According to the Washington Times, defense attorney and CNN analyst Mark Garagos is a co-conspirator in Avenatti’s Nike extortion case. This is too rich:

The alleged co-conspirator in an extortion case against celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is believed to be CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos.

Geragos, 61, was not named in the criminal complaint against Avenatti. Two people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the co-conspirator, referred to in the document as “CC-1”, a California attorney “known for representation of celebrity and public figure clients,” was Geragos. It is not known whether Geragos has been charged or is cooperating with investigators.

A CNN spokesperson told the Washington Examiner on Monday afternoon that Geragos is “no longer a CNN contributor.”


Avenatti and a co-conspirator allegedly threatened to hold a news conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament to publicize alleged misconduct and maximize the damage such information could inflict on the company.

If Nike’s lawyers wanted them to remain quiet, Avenatti said, they would need to be paid between $15 million and $25 million to conduct an “internal investigation” into the athletics apparel company. Avenatti said they would agree to a $22.5 million hush money payment from Nike if the company did not want to keep them on retainer.

CNN kept lovely company didn’t it?

Update II: Stormy Daniels issued a statement earlier today on Avenatti’s arrest:

The creepy porn lawyer was too even skeevy for Stormy Daniels.

Update III: Don Surber has a satisfying read at his place in which he engages in his own brand of Avenatti schadenfreude. He’s got Avenatti’s number and it’s a joy to read.

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