Monday, 18 November, 2019

Michael Avenatti blames arrest on 'vindictive' prosecutors

Stephanie Keith  Getty Images Stephanie Keith Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 16 August, 2019, 16:14

"The USAO-SDNY substituted its own personal impressions of Mr. Avenatti, drawn from his aggressive public persona, long feud with President Trump, and brief entanglement with the USAO-SDNY in the Michael Cohen investigation", Avenatti's lawyers writes in his filing, referencing the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of NY.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti asked a federal judge to dismiss an indictment accusing him of trying to extort Nike Inc, saying he was targeted in a "vindictive and selective prosecution" because of his feud with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges.

Avenatti also said Trump and his family "have demonstrated genuine animus" toward him and that it was clear he would not have been prosecuted if not for that animus.

That was the only mention of United Kingdom in the 50-page filing, which went on to outline Avenatti's public feud with President Donald Trump and his representation of adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors declined through a spokesman to comment.

The lawyers said "widespread corruption of amateur basketball at Nike" was revealed in evidence given to Avenatti's lawyers as they prepare for a November trial.

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Avenatti's team also puts forth a discovered communication between DeBose and Nico Harrison, Nike's vice president of North American Basketball Operations, that he "was willing to bet that 38 of 40 teams in the EYBL had to pay a moderate ransom just to play in the EYBL".

Nike has denied wrongdoing.

Michael Avenatti who has been in the center of the scandal released more information last night regarding Zion Williamson and former Hoosier Romeo Langford and the alleged willingness from Nike's grassroots programs to pay both players to attend Nike schools.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claimed to have received hush money not to discuss her alleged affair with Trump in 2006. There was no claim a payment was made.

In March, Avenatti was arrested and charged by federal prosecutors in NY with attempting to extort Nike for up to $25 million and threatening to expose the company's payments to players in its Elite Youth Basketball League.

"Nike will not respond to the allegations of an individual facing federal charges of fraud and extortion", the statement said, per ESPN. "Nike will continue its cooperation with the government's investigation into grassroots basketball and the related extortion case".

In a statement, Kentucky said that the athletic department remains "committed to compliance in all facets. and will work closely with the NCAA and Southeastern Conference when necessary on any and all matters".

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