Michael Avenatti Moves To Subpoena Papers From Nike In Alleged High School Basketball Pay-For-Play Scheme
Michael Avenatti‘s legal team has plans to subpoena papers from Nike in Avenatti’s upcoming extortion case.
Avenatti announced plans earlier this year to hold a news conference to present a case he claimed would show how “criminal conduct reached the highest levels of Nike.” He then offered to cancel the event if Nike paid more than $20 million for him and another lawyer to conduct an internal investigation.
Avenatti is due to appear on trial November 12. However, the lawyer’s legal team says that these papers prove that employees of the sportswear giant illegally funneled money to elite high school basketball players.
According to Avenatti’s attorney, Scott Srebnick, Avenatti was representing a youth basketball coach that had a legitimate claim against Nike and that he was pursuing that claim, rather than trying to shake down the company for a payoff as prosecutors claim. Srebnick alluded to an alleged pay-to-play scheme targeting elite high school basketball players by Nike.
“We’re going to be seeking evidence from Nike of payments to players,” Srebnick said
In a recent motion to dismiss the indictment, Avenatti’s legal team claims that Nike signed off on payments to up and coming basketball stars Romeo Langford and Zion Williamson, of the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans, when the two were still in high school.
Judge Paul Gardephe, the federal justice over the case, did not rule immediately and asked both sides to submit their motions in regards to the case in writing during a hearing on Thursday.
Avenatti first gained national attention when representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her case against Donald Trump and Michael Cohen. He has since parted way with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and is now facing separate indictments in New York and California for fleecing her and other clients out of more than $1 million.
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