Well now, isn’t this a turn up for the legal books. Michael Avenatti has been arrested and bailed on charges of extortion. It’s a fair old chunk of cash too, trying to get $20 million and perhaps change out of Nike. The particular method appearing to be to claim a settlement of a claim then a decent – more than decent – wedge as a consulting fee to ensure that there’s no more such cases lurking in the company’s systems or processes.
Make me nostalgic for Push and Jesse Jackson’s days claiming racial bias in corporates really.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Michael Avenatti, the high-profile Californian lawyer who represented the pornographic film star Stormy Daniels, has been charged with trying to extort more than $20m from the sports company Nike. Avenatti, a prominent critic of Donald Trump, threatened to release damaging information about Nike unless it paid him off, according to a criminal complaint filed by federal authorities in New York. [/perfectpullquote]
Do note that, despite both the source and I mentioning them, this is nothing to do with Trump or Stormy Daniels. She at least generally being honest about how she makes her living.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] He used his prominence to try to extort millions from Nike, prosecutors alleged. He threatened to publicize allegations of misconduct against Nike unless the company paid a client he represented $1.5m, and paid Avenatti and another lawyer up to $25m to conduct an internal investigation, the criminal complaint says. “A suit and tie doesn’t mask the fact that at its core, this was an old-fashioned shakedown,” said Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the southern district of New York. [/perfectpullquote]
The internal investigation being, no doubt, to show that the company’s processes were transparent and fair and didn’t contain any more such landmines.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] He met Nike lawyers last week and said his client had information that Nike employees made illicit payments to top high school basketball prospects – similar to accusations against Adidas employees that resulted in federal convictions. Avenatti said he would hold a press conference to publicize the allegations – timed to coincide with the NCAA basketball tournament and Nike’s quarterly earnings calls – unless his demands were met, prosecutors said. [/perfectpullquote]
Well now, isn’t that an interesting claim for people to be making?