As a bold and explorative child, sometimes I'd attempt some leap off the house with a pillowcase parachute, fly the neighborhood on homemade zip lines across three backyards, or dangerous 12' bicycle jumps across coulees. Some of those attempts didn't go really well and, before I was 8 years old I'd already broken my nose.

On the occasion of my many childhood engineering disasters and occasional injury, my mother's reaction was always basically: Looks like this time you barked up the wrong tree. She meant I'd reached too far, attempted too much at once, bit off more than I could chew, or something like that.

Stole Clients Money

In addition to the extortion charges, Avenatti is also being charged in a separate federal case on the accusation he embezzled clients money in order to pay his own expenses and debts. Prosecutors also say he defrauded a Mississippi bank, lying about his income to obtain loans for his private use and his coffee shop businesses.

Wire and Bank Fraud

This time it looks like Michael Avenatti, the often discussed Democratic presidential candidate for 2020 has barked up the wrong tree, and this tree is no attention seeking adult film queen, but NIKE. And they don't want Avenatti to Just Do It. They insist he stops immediately in fact.

In Los Angeles, Avenatti has been arrested on charges relating to an attempt to extort NIKE. In a nutshell, Avenatti's scheme was to tell NIKE that unless they paid him off, then he would, just before a big company event, like NIKE reporting its quarterly earnings, he (Avenatti) would release news publicly of allegations of misconduct by employees of Nike.

Such a charge, especially prior to an international company's quarterly earnings report could be devastating to the stock price, costing a company, at least in the short term millions of dollars.

Nike Says Just Don't Do It

Nike ain't havin' it. Many big companies will shell out a few million on claims like this, it's cheaper than fighting it in court, and in the press the court of public opinion.

The criminal complaint alleges Avenatti devised a scheme to extort a company by means of interstate communication by threatening to damage a company's reputation if the company did not agree to make multi-million dollar payments to Avenatti and (un-named conspirator), and further agree to pay an additional $1.5 million to a client of Avenatti's.

If mama was here today, she'd almost certainly ascertain that this time, Avenatti has barked up the wrong tree, which appears as though it is about to fall on him.