A jury convicted high-profile lawyer Michael Avenatti on all counts in his Nike extortion trial on Friday.
Prosecutors maintained Avenatti threatened to use his fame to stage a news conference and deliver claims that Nike executives were corrupting college basketball by funding payments to elite young players and their families — unless he was paid millions of dollars to conduct the internal probe himself.
At the time, prosecutors say, Avenatti faced at least $11 million in debts. His former law firm office manager testified that finances were so desperate last March that his several employees had been evicted from their $50,000-a-month offices and were working from their homes.
The verdict comes days after Avenatti’s attorney borrowed Nike’s iconic advertising slogan in a closing argument, saying Avenatti followed a client’s wishes to be in attack mode when he went into a meeting with the apparel giant’s lawyers intending to “Just Do It” for the client.
nbc- The bombastic attorney, who was ordered jailed last month without bail for alleged violations of his release bond, faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, although he is likely to get far less time than that.
The Street –
Avenatti’s defense team claimed the lawyer was simply playing hardball with Nike and that his conduct didn’t rise the to the level of being criminal.
The lawyer could be facing a lengthy sentence, up to 42 years according to some reports.