11:50 GMT29 October 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her case against US President Donald Trump, was arrested on 25 March, being subsequently charged in separate cases with extortion and bank fraud.

    Attorney Avenatti has reportedly turned to Twitter, saying that he expects to be indicted on March charges within 48 hours, The Hill reports citing Avenatti's statement on his Twitter account, which is set to private.

    "I intend on fighting these bogus/legally baseless allegations and will plead not guilty to ALL CHARGES. I look forward to the trial where I can begin to clear my name," Avenatti wrote as cited by The Hill. "The indictment is the formal charging document that usually follows a criminal complaint, which is what was issued in connection with my arrest," he added.

    READ MORE: ‘Porn Lawyer' Michael Avenatti Arrested, Charged With Extortion, Bank Fraud

    Avenatti reportedly told The Hill that he wanted his innocence to be proved by a jury.

    "I expect to be fully exonerated because the law and the facts are fully on my side," he wrote in an emailed statement. "I want a jury to decide my fate."

    Michael Avenatti was arrested on separate charges of operating "an old-fashioned shakedown" by trying to extort athletic apparel company Nike of millions of dollars and bank fraud on 25 March.

    Separate charges were brought against Avenatti in New York and Los Angeles courts.Federal prosecutors in New York on 25 March accused the lawyer of four counts of extortion for "attempting to extract more than $20 million in payments from a publicly traded company [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."

    In Los Angeles, unrelated bank and wire fraud charges alleged that Avenatti "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," according to a Department of Justice press release.

    READ MORE: Michael Avenatti Denies Saying Next Dem Nominee 'Better be White Male'

    Avenatti was taken into custody in New York and faces up to 47 years in prison if convicted on all charges in the New York case, as well as an additional 50 years if convicted of both charges in the Los Angeles case. He was subsequently released by a New York federal magistrate judge on $300,000 bond on 25 March.

    Avenatti came into the spotlight after adult film actress Stormy Daniels alleged that Trump had paid her $130,000 in exchange for her keeping quiet about a 2006 fling she'd had with him. Her March 2018 lawsuit alleged the agreement to be invalid, as Trump himself had never signed it.    

    court, charges, indictment, statement, Nike, Twitter, Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump, Michael Avenatti, US
    Community standardsDiscussion