Dec 18, 2019

Michael Avenatti pleads not guilty to Nike extortion case charges

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Attorney Michael Avenatti pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court Tuesday to attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to publicize claims that it made improper payments to athletes, which Nike denies, AP reports.

Details: Prosecutors in the U.S. District Court amended the Nike indictment to drop two conspiracy counts but added an honest services fraud charge, Reuters notes. Avenatti is due to face trial on Jan. 21.

The big picture: Avenatti is facing three different criminal cases. In another New York case, AP reports he is scheduled to stand trial on April 21 to face financial crimes charges, including misappropriating money intended for his former client Stormy Daniels.

  • A Los Angeles court has set down a May 19 trial for Avenatti to face charges he defrauded clients of millions of dollars by diverting money they were to be paid to accounts he controlled.
  • Avenatti denies all the charges leveled against him in all three of the cases.

Go deeper: The Avenatti scandal highlights the dark side of college basketball

Go deeper

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.