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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A News Summary | The Local Review
/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Contractor to Stand Trial in Threats to Ex-Partner

November 10, 1998

SAN MARINO — A judge ruled Monday that there is sufficient evidence for a San Marino contractor to stand trial on charges that he attempted to extort millions of dollars from a former business associate he believed cut him off from lucrative construction deals.

John A. Artukovich is accused of threatening to kill his former business partner, Michael L. Shank, 63, unless Shank paid him $8 million. Following a short preliminary hearing with a district attorney's investigator taking the stand, the judge decided that there was enough evidence for Artukovich to stand trial on two counts of attempted extortion and one count of making terrorist threats.

Authorities allege Artukovich, 70, calculated the amount he wanted based a $1 million for each major project he missed since the pair split up a decade ago. He allegedly told Shank that a paramilitary extremist group had been commissioned to kill him.

Unbeknownst to Artukovich, district investigator Raymond "Pat" McPherson electronically monitored a meeting in which Artukovich allegedly threaten Shank.

Artukovich has pleaded not guilty. He remains in jail after the judge declined to reduce his $1-million bail.

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