Supreme Court Upholds Michael Avenatti's Conviction in $25M Nike Extortion Case

 May 28, 2024

The United States Supreme Court has refused to review Michael Avenatti's conviction related to his attempted extortion of $25 million from sports apparel giant Nike, Fox News reported.

In February 2020, Avenatti was found guilty of extortion and honest services fraud. He argued that the law under which he was convicted was too ambiguous, and his approach was merely aggressive negotiation, not criminal behavior.

However, his conviction was later upheld by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found substantial evidence supporting the verdict.

The Decline of a Prominent Lawyer

Once a prominent figure, especially known for representing high-profile figures like Julie Swetnick and Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti has since faced severe legal repercussions. His representation of Swetnick involved allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and his work with Daniels opposed former President Donald Trump.

Justice Kavanaugh abstained from the Supreme Court's decision on Avenatti’s appeal, which was succinctly denied with no further explanation provided.

In 2021, Avenatti was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for the Nike extortion case. The legal challenges did not end there; about a year later, he received an equivalent sentence for embezzling book proceeds from Stormy Daniels.

His cumulative prison time dramatically increased in December 2022 when he pled guilty to additional charges of client theft and tax evasion, amounting to 14 years.

Simultaneous Legal Drama Involves Former Clients

As Avenatti faces his legal consequences, another legal drama unfolds, which involves Stormy Daniels and former President Trump in New York. While Daniels testified against Trump earlier this month, Avenatti’s own troubles seem to mirror a dramatic fall from grace.

The Supreme Court’s brief order simply stated, "The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied," putting an end to any further judicial review of the Nike extortion case.

Broad Implications of Legal Rulings

Avenatti’s appeal hinged on a technical argument about the ambiguity of the law regarding extortion. His defense postulated that his actions were a part of hard-edged settlement discussions, challenging the fine line between negotiation and extortion.

However, the courts have consistently refuted this interpretation, marking a crucial example in legal proceedings concerning how extortion is defined and prosecuted in the context of aggressive business dealings.

With his numerous convictions and the latest denial from the Supreme Court, Avenotti remains a pivotal figure in discussions about the boundaries of legal conduct among attorneys. His case serves as a stark warning about the potential consequences of crossing legal boundaries under the guise of negotiation.

As Michael Avenotti continues to serve his time, his cases are held up as high-profile examples of the justice system’s handling of cases involving potential abuses of power by legal professionals. His legal saga will likely influence public perception and legal practices for years to come.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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