Prosecutors claim Michael Avenatti was over $15 million in debt when he allegedly tried to extort Nike, the Daily News is reporting.
Avenatti, who shot to fame when he represented porn star Stormy Daniels, is scheduled to stand trial in January in the Nike case.
"The government does not intend to argue that the defendant was wealthy (and the evidence shows that he was not)," Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Podolksy wrote in case filings in Manhattan Federal Court.
"The government expects that the evidence at trial will show that, at the time of his charged conduct, the defendant was in significant debt. Specifically, the government presently estimates that the defendant's debts at that time were, conservatively, in excess of $15 million.
Prosecutors say he owed money to celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, former clients, a former law partner, and two ex-wives.
But Avenatti is denying the government claims.
"Any claim that I was $15 million in debt is ludicrous and absurd," he said. "I am looking forward to the trial in this case, at which time I will be fully exonerated and the truth will be known."
Avenatti is charged with what prosecutors said was an attempt to "shake down" Nike over $20 million.
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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