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October 23, 2012 | By Chuck Schilken
A 26-year-old Pittsburgh man allegedly sought $15,000 from the personal assistant of retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward after threatening to release evidence that the former Super Bowl MVP had paid for sex with a woman. "It's called buying silence, brother," suspect Joshua Van Auker allegedly told Raymond Burgess, Ward's assistant. It's also called extortion, and Van Auker now faces a preliminary hearing on two felony counts of it following his arrest last week after allegedly selling Burgess so-called evidence that Ward had paid for a "physical relationship" with Van Auker's girlfriend.
August 17, 1991
A Harvard University student on summer break was charged Friday with attempted extortion for demanding that a doctor who had tested positive for the AIDS virus give him $10,000 or face public exposure of his condition. John Michael Fountain, 21, pleaded not guilty Friday to attempted extortion and sending a threatening letter for extortion, Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah Kranze said. He faces as much as three years in prison if he is convicted, and is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
August 25, 2005
Re "Firms Hit by ID Theft Find Way to Cash In on Victims," Aug 22 This is just a new twist on the old game of extortion. A gang or mob wants protection money to "insure" nothing bad happens to your house or business. Help can only come from our lawmakers, which means we're in real trouble. LEORA DEBOER Burbank
January 23, 1990 | JOHN H. LEE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The three staff members of a tabloid that published a sensational series of articles on business improprieties in Koreatown and then allegedly demanded money to discontinue the reports have been arrested on suspicion of extortion, authorities said Monday.
A gang member was convicted Wednesday of extorting money from an Orange County restaurateur, threatening to harm her children if she did not pay. Johnny Zin Chan, 30, of Alhambra faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced March 15 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. He was found guilty of extortion charges stemming from repeated threats and acts of vandalism at the victim's restaurant and home in 1989. Federal prosecutor John J. Byrne Jr.
June 22, 1986
Federal agents have arrested a 37-year-old man after he threatened to tamper with products at a Sacramento supermarket unless he was paid $2,000. David Paul Peak was accused of trying to extort money from the market on behalf of a group calling itself the People's Provisional Court and Freedom Five. Officials said the group demanded the money as a "fine" against the market for being guilty of capitalist greed. No tampered products were identified or reported.
A Los Angeles police department motorcycle officer has admitted to participating in an extortion plot with five others to steal $1 million from a Lakewood real estate broker, a prosecutor told a Los Angeles County judge Wednesday. Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman told of the alleged confession of Melvin Leon Boyd, 38, during a preliminary hearing before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Person.
March 1, 1992
Los Angeles police detectives have arrested a former Los Angeles city fire commissioner on charges of trying to extort $80,000 from a London insurance company in exchange for two contemporary paintings that had been stolen from a New York art gallery, authorities said Saturday. Leon Kirakosian, 46, allegedly arranged to sell two works by artists Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat to Lloyd's of London.
August 29, 1992 | From Associated Press
Rep. Nicholas Mavroules (D-Mass.) pleaded innocent Friday after a grand jury indicted him on extortion and other charges, some dating to his tenure as mayor of suburban Peabody in the 1970s. Mavroules, a Democrat, is charged with racketeering, extortion, illegally accepting a gratuity, filing false tax returns and making false statements. He called the charges "absolutely a bunch of lies" and pledged to fight for reelection to an eighth term. The primary is Sept. 15.
August 11, 1987 | LYNN SMITH and DAVID REYES, Times Staff Writers
A month before he died in a Sunday fire now believed to have been arson, journalist Tap Van Pham had complained to friends about Vietnamese extortionists. Pham, who died in his home and office in Garden Grove, said extortionists had stolen $360 from his mailbox and then demanded $60 to return the money, according to Pham's longtime friend and fellow journalist, Kieu Loan Nguyen.
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