CNN analyst Mark Geragos is the alleged unnamed co-conspirator in the indictment filed against cantankerous lawyer Michael Avenatti in a New York federal court on Monday.
Avenatti was arrested on Monday and charged with attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike.
Geragos is said to be the co-conspirator referred to in the complaint as “CC-1”.
According to the complaint, Avenatti tried to shakedown Nike by threatening to publicize alleged damaging information about Nike’s involvement with high school and college basketball recruits – some of whom are currently playing in the NBA. Avenatti reportedly asked for $22.5 million to be paid to him and his client (believed to be Geragos)
According to The Washington Examiner, if Nike wanted Avenatti and Geragos to remain silent, they would need to fork over $15 million to $25 million to put Avenatti and Geragos on retainer to conduct a sham “internal investigation” into the sneaker giant.
Avenatti told Nike he would accept a hush money payment of $22.5 million if Nike didn’t want to keep them on retainer.
The Manhattan Federal Prosecutor’s Office allege that Avenatti and Geragos planned to hold a noon press conference today, on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call. The press conference would most likely have a negative effect on Nike’s stock and cause financial harm to the company.
Before he was taken into custody, Avenatti tweeted: “[Tomorrow] at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involved some of the biggest names in college basketball.”
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
Geragos currently represents “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who faces felony disorderly charges in Chicago. Geragos has also represented the late singer Michael Jackson, singer Chris Brown, actress Wynona Rider, retired NFL player Colin Kaepernick and more.
It isn’t clear if Geragos will be charged of if he is cooperating in the investigation.
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