U.S. charges Trump foe Michael Avenatti with fraud, extortion


FILE PHOTO – Attorney Michael Avenatti leaves court after making an initialappearance on charges of bank and wire fraud at federal court in Santa Ana, California, U.S., April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced new criminal charges against Michael Avenatti, escalating the legal troubles for the combative lawyer who once represented porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan said the new charges against Avenatti include aggravated identity theft and engaging in a scheme to defraud a former client, as well as extortion charges related to his alleged attempt to extract more than $20 million from Nike Inc.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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