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Tapes of Avenatti threats highlight extortion trial closings

Avenatti hit with Nike extortion claims, other charges
Posted at 7:17 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 19:17:19-05

Michael Avenatti's lawyers told jurors in a closing argument that the combative California attorney was following a client's wishes when he threatened to expose Nike's role in a college basketball scandal.

Attorneys Scott and Howard Srebnick, attacked the credibility of two of the government's main witnesses Tuesday.

They told a Manhattan federal court jury that a California amateur basketball coach and his adviser said they wanted Avenatti to force changes at Nike that would eliminate corruption.

The arguments came after a prosecutor played profanity-laced recorded conversations in which Avenatti threatened Nike lawyers that he'd damage the value of the company's stock unless he was paid millions of dollars.

The prosecutor called it extortion.