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Michael Avenatti's bail revoked; trial in Nike case delayed

A federal judge in California on Wednesday revoked attorney Michael Avenatti's bail, a day after he was arrested for allegedly committing new financial crimes while awaiting trial in three federal criminal cases.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in New York delayed Avenatti's criminal trial on charges that he attempted to extort as much as $25 million from Nike to stop him from exposing alleged misdeeds in the apparel company's grassroots basketball division.

Avenatti pleaded not guilty in that case and said he requested the money from Nike to compensate his client and to pay Avenatti to conduct an internal investigation of the sneaker company.

The trial related to the Nike charges was scheduled to begin Tuesday. U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe told Avenatti's attorneys during a conference call on Wednesday that he wanted the trial to begin by at least Jan. 27.

Avenatti was being held in jail in Orange County, California, and the judge there ordered him to be transported to New York later this week.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles had Avenatti arrested Tuesday, during his disciplinary hearing in front of the State Bar of California, for violating conditions of his pretrial release.

In a court filing Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California claimed that Avenatti engaged in mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and structuring financial transfers to evade reporting requirements.

Prosecutors said he owes more than $10 million to creditors.

Federal prosecutors allege Avenatti fraudulently transferred much of a $1 million payment to his law firm in May 2019 to a bank account he opened to hide the money from creditors, including his second wife, the state of Washington and his former law partner.

In a 36-count indictment last year, federal prosecutors in California accused Avenatti of swindling millions of dollars from his clients.

He is also scheduled to go to trial in New York this spring on charges that he defrauded former client Stormy Daniels of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a book deal.

Avenatti pleaded not guilty in each of those federal criminal cases as well.