NEW YORK (Reuters) – A United States jury on Friday found Michael Avenatti guilty in a criminal trial accused the famous attorney of trying to extort Nike Inc. Out of millions of dollars and defraud a young basketball coach he represented.
Jurors in Manhattan federal courts need 2-1/2 days to decide the fate of Avenatti, a brash attorney all, but unknown until two years ago, when he began representing the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in litigation against US President Donald Trump and making hundreds of television appearance.
Avenatti, 48, who positioned his chair so that he could face the jurors in his time 2-1/2-week trial, stared at them as the judgment was read. He can get more than 40 years in prison at his scheduled 17 months on the penalty.
“Of course there will be an appeal, yes,” Avenatti’s attorney Scott Srebnick told reporters after the ruling.
Avenatti also faced the scheduled criminal trials this spring in Manhattan on charges he tricked Daniels out of the revenues from a book contract, and in California about charges he tricked some other clients and lied to Internal Revenue Service.
He was imprisoned in Manhattan since Jan. 17 after the California prosecutor said he had violated his guarantor condition.
Avenatti shakes his hands with and has a pat on his back from the members of his legal team following the sixth day of the ruling, before a court officer led him away.
The applicant has been convicted of trying to shake down Nike by threatening to hold a press conference to discuss the sports allegations…