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Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort $20 million from Nike

Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort $20 million from Nike @michaelavenatti

Federal prosecutors in New York have arrested and charged famed attorney Michael Avenatti with attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike.

The charges claim Avenatti threatened to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.

Avenatti, 48, has famously represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

The  complaint also allegedes, Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at which he would announce allegations of misconduct by Nike employees.

“Avenatti stated that he would refrain from holding the press conference and harming Nike only if Nike made a payment of $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti’s in possession of information damaging to Nike … and agreed to ‘retain’ Avenatti and [an unidentified co-conspirator] to conduct an ‘internal investigation’ — an investigation that Nike did not request, for which Avenatti and [the co-conspirator] demanded to be paid, at a minimum, between $15 [million] and $25 million,” the complaint said.

A spokesman for the Southern District of New York, ”the defendant was arrested earlier today and is in custody. He is expected to be presented in Manhattan federal court [Monday] afternoon.”

A co-conspirator identified by federal prosecutors as “an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California, and similarly known for representation of celebrity and public figure clients.” The complaint says Avenatti’s client is a “coach of an amateur athletic union (‘AAU’) men’s basketball program based in California.”

“For a number of years, the AAU program coached by Client-1 had a sponsorship agreement with Nike pursuant to which Nike paid the AAU program approximately $72,000 annually,” the complaint says.

Federal prosecutors announced the charges against Avenatti less than an hour after he tweeted that he was holding a press conference on Tuesday morning “to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”

Two Teens Facing Three Years in Jail After Vandalizing UCLA Bruin in USC’s Colors

Two Teens Facing Three Years in Jail After Vandalizing UCLA Bruin in USC’s Colors @latimes

According to the LA Times, two teens have been charged with vandalism following an incident that took place on the UCLA campus in November 2018.  Wednesday prosecutors charged Louie Raider Torres, 19, of Studio City, and Willie Saul Johnson, 18, of Van Nuys, with felony vandalism that resulted in more than $10,000 in damage to the large bruin statue on Nov. 13.

The pair have been accused of tagging the UCLA mascot with red and yellow paint and writing “SC” on its base.  Prosecutors have determined the duo pried open a wooden case that was protecting the Bruin Bear on the UCLA campus around 2 a.m. Nov. 13, and the statue was doused with red and yellow paint. The destruction was discovered days later.

If convicted as charged, both defendants face a possible maximum sentence of three years in jail, the district attorney’s office announced.

ARREST MADE IN LOUISIANA

ARREST MADE IN LOUISIANA @harrieteve9

According to ESPN.com, police in Baton Rouge, LA have arrested a suspect in the murder of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims. See earlier post >>  

Twenty year old, Deyton Simpson was arrested and charged with second-degree murder Saturday, according to the Baton Rouge police department. Police said Saturday that Simpson dropped his glasses during an altercation early Friday morning involving Sims. The glasses were tested for DNA, helping police to arrest Simpson. 

UCLA STAR SHAREEF O’NEAL TO MISS 2018-19 SEASON

UCLA STAR SHAREEF O’NEAL TO MISS 2018-19 SEASON @shareefoneal

Shareef O’Neal, a four-star recruit for UCLA and son of NBA great Shaquille O’neal will miss the entire 2018-19 season after UCLA doctors found a heart ailment that will require surgery.

O’Neal told TMZ Sports he “felt funny” during team workouts over the summer so UCLA’s doctors had him wear a heart monitor, when he “felt funny” they instructed him to push a button, to alert them. He said he pressed the button during one summer practice and doctors later discovered the heart ailment that will force him to miss the upcoming season.

O’Neal was set to join a talented incoming class that’s ranked third, behind Duke and Kentucky, on ESPN.com. The Bruins, ranked in most preseason top 25 polls, could challenge for the Pac-12 crown.

He said he expects to return after a medical redshirt season in 2018-19.

LSU BASKETBALL PLAYER WAYDE SIMS KILLED

LSU BASKETBALL PLAYER WAYDE SIMS KILLED @litwayde

Sims, a 20-year-old junior from Baton Rouge, was shot during an altercation outside a Subway restaurant across from Southern’s football stadium around 1:25 a.m. ET Friday. A video obtained by WBRZ shows several men fighting in the street outside the restaurant. A gunshot can be heard, and Sims can be seen falling to the ground before the remaining men started running from the scene, according to ESPN.  

Sims was transported to a local hospital, where he died from a gunshot wound, according to Baton Rouge police.

When asked about Sims at a pre-scheduled news conference on Friday, LSU Coach, Will Wade said, “We are all devastated, We need your prayers for Wayde, for his family, for all of us. We are heartbroken.We want to remember Wayde, what a great person he was, Besides the fact he had the best impression of me on the team, he was just an unbelievable person and was continuing to grow and had just done a great job building a bridge with our team. That’s what makes it so tough for all of us, and for our team as well, is everybody liked him. Anybody he came in contact with, automatically just loved him, loved his personality. He was just a blast to be around at all times.”

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