Attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday on federal charges of attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc. with threats of bad publicity last week right before the footwear and apparel giant reported third-quarter earnings and the NCAA basketball tournament began.

According to The New York Times, “prosecutors in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York said that Avenatti and a client, a former AAU basketball coach, told Nike that they had evidence Nike employees had funneled money to recruits. The prosecutors said the men threatened to release the evidence in order to damage Nike’s reputation and market capitalization unless the company paid them at least $22.5 million.”

In a statement, prosecutors said Avenatti, most famous for representing Stormy Daniels, attempted to extract the money “by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.”

Photo courtesy AP