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Michael Avenatti charged with extortion, wire fraud in Los Angeles, New York

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UPDATE: Mark Geragos, an attorney for Colin Kaepernick, Jussie Smollett, and other celebrities, is an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme to extort Nike, according to the Wall Street Journal. He has not been charged.

(VICE News) — Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti has been arrested and charged with federal wire fraud and bank fraud in California as well as four counts of extortion in New York, prosecutors from two separate districts announced Monday.

Avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million from Nike, according to a federal complaint filed in New York’s Southern District. In a second, apparently unrelated case, Avenatti embezzled a client’s money to, in part, pay off expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee stores, according to federal prosecutors in California.

Avenatti purchased the coffee stores in 2013 with actor Patrick Dempsey, who sued Avenatti that same year to break their business partnership. The prosecutors in California also accused the lawyer of defrauding a bank with phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans.

Avenatti is facing 50 years in federal prison over the charges in California. He will have his initial court appearance in New York on Monday, and he’s scheduled to have another in California at a later date. His bail is currently set at $50,000.

In an attempt to extort money from Nike, Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference on the eve of Nike’s quarterly earnings call and announce allegations of misconduct by Nike employees, prosecutors said. “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap,” Avenatti told Nike’s attorneys on March 19, according to the complaint. “I’m not f*cking around.”

Avenatti on Monday posted a tweet saying we would be holding a press conference to disclose a “major high school/college basketball scandal” perpetrated by Nike that he claimed to have uncovered. “This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball,” Avenatti said in the tweet.

Read the federal complaint against Michael Avenatti in Southern District of New York below:

Read the federal complaint against Avenatti in the Central District of California:

Developing story…more to come…

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Four People Killed, Three Injured In Early Morning Mass Shooting In Brooklyn

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(NBC) — Four people are dead and three injured after an early morning shooting on Saturday in Brooklyn, New York, law enforcement officials said.

The shooting happened at 6:55 a.m. in the Crown Heights neighborhood at what New York Police Department officials described as “an illegal gambling location.”

At least 15 shots were fired, and as of Saturday morning, police had recovered two guns so far — a nine-millimeter handgun and a revolver. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said he would not be surprised to find more.

“We have four males deceased inside,” Shea said, adding that their ages range from 32 to 49. “They are still at the scene. We are waiting on the medical examiner’s office.”

Three other people, two men, and one woman were injured by gunfire. Shea said they are being treated at a hospital and their wounds are not life-threatening. An eighth person was injured as he tried to escape the firefight.

Two of the dead men were from out of town, while the others resided in Brooklyn. It is unclear if the men who are not from Brooklyn came specifically to play at the gambling hall, which Shea said appeared to focus on card and dice games.

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One Injured In New Hampshire Church Shooting

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(ABC) — Authorities are investigating a shooting at a church in Pelham, New Hampshire, on Saturday morning, the governor said.

“State officials are on scene assisting local first responders in the response and investigation of a shooting in Pelham, NH,” Governor John Sununu said on Twitter.

A spokeswoman for Lowell General Hospital in Massachusetts said they are treating one victim from the shooting, but did not release any additional information.

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

Live coverage of the shooting below.

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Four Stabbed at Manchester Shopping Centre

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Four people injured following an stabbing incident at Arndale shopping centre in Manchester.

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed it’s officers were responding to an incident at the Arndale shopping centre.

North West Ambulance Service said four people were being treated outside the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester and confirmed the callout was related to reports of a stabbing.

Videos on social media are circulating showing a man being taken into custody by police officers with tasers drawn.

This is a Breaking News Story and will be updated.

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