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Michael Avenatti outside the Daniel P. Moynihan Courthouse in Manhattan after an April hearing. Photo: David Handschuh/NYLJ Michael Avenatti outside the Daniel P. Moynihan Courthouse in Manhattan after an April 2018 hearing. Photo: David Handschuh/NYLJ.

On March 24, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged Michael Avenatti—lawyer to presidential accuser Stephanie Clifford (a/k/a Stormy Daniels)—with federal extortion and conspiracy charges. According to the DOJ, Avenatti threatened to expose Nike’s involvement in a college basketball corruption scheme akin to the Adidas-related scheme that, in Fall 2017, resulted in federal indictments of 10 coaches, shoe company executives and player advisers.

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