A jury in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan found him guilty Friday.
The brash lawyer was all but unknown until two years ago when he began representing the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against US President Donald Trump and making hundreds of television appearances. "This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball". The suit alleged that Avenatti threatened the corporation with a press conference accusing Nike of corruption unless the company paid him and his co-conspirator millions of dollars. Also around that time, Daniels said in a statement that she cut ties with Avenatti more than a month prior, "after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly".
With his conviction, Avenatti could face more than 40 years in prison and is expected to be disbarred. All of Avenatti's claims were proven to be fabricated. He sought $1.5 million for Franklin, as well.
Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of Franklin and an entertainment executive who advised him to be aggressive to force Nike to fire corrupt executives and fix its culture. In addition to the Nike charges, Manhattan federal prosecutors accused him of swindling Daniels out of almost $300,000 for a book deal.
He remains held without bail.