YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsExtortion


December 2, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - It is a distressingly common part of life in modern Mexico: the bullying phone call demanding that the person who answers pay up - or else. Businesses get the extortion calls. Families get them. And now, apparently, so has the country's main Roman Catholic seminary. In a sermon Sunday, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera announced that a vice rector at the Conciliar Seminary of Mexico received a number of threatening phone calls Nov. 20-21. The callers, the cardinal said, demanded 60,000 pesos - about $4,500 - "in exchange for respecting the lives of the superiors of that institution," according to a statement issued Sunday evening by the Archdiocese of Mexico.
February 17, 1988
Six reputed gangsters have pleaded guilty to attempting to extort $25,000 in winnings from two patrons of a Bell Gardens gambling casino, prosecutors said Tuesday. Trang Man Looc, 31, Doan Dinh Vu, 35, Sinh Nam Tran, 32, Ho Van Nguyen, 32, and Tien Hung Luong, 40, entered pleas last Thursday in Superior Court to one count of attempted extortion. The sixth defendant, Phu Xuan Cao, 37, pleaded guilty to the same charge in January.
August 16, 1991
A Harvard University student on summer break was arrested Thursday in West Hollywood on extortion charges after he allegedly blackmailed a physician who had tested positive for the AIDS virus, authorities said. John Michael Fountain, 21, wrote the doctor demanding $10,000 in exchange for remaining silent about the physician's positive HIV test, deputies said. The physician contacted authorities, who arranged a drop with an envelope containing $10,000 in cash.
May 3, 2003 | From Times staff reports
A 25-year-old suspected gang member has been extradited to Anaheim to face charges of extortion and criminal street gang activity, police said Friday. Martin Gomez was arrested last week in El Paso, Texas, by Anaheim's gang detail. Gomez and eight other members of a local gang assaulted one of their relatives and extorted more than $400 from them on two occasions, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez.
May 18, 2008
While most of these brainless scams are so obvious that they are mildly amusing, there are other vicious and terrorizing scams that use extortion tactics. ("My week of e-mail scams," May 11.) I turned my threatening letter -- "You have an enemy that wants you dead, and I have been hired to kill you unless you send money now" -- over to the local police, who calmly informed us that these are becoming more frequent. Daniel Koral Beverly Hills
December 21, 1996
Four suspects in an alleged extortion attempt against a Glendale merchant, which turned into a bloody shootout and left two dead, were charged with murder Friday. The suspects, who were arrested shortly after the shooting late Tuesday at the Mirage Clothing & Shoes store on Glendale Avenue, also face charges of attempted murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
February 1, 2002
An employee who threatened to blow up the Chevron oil refinery in El Segundo if the company refused to pay him as much as $3 million to settle his disability claims was found guilty of extortion Thursday by a federal jury in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors said Ronald Denton, 38, who worked at the refinery for 14 years, had been placed on disability leave after complaining of stress stemming from his failure to get a promotion.
January 16, 1994
FBI agents arrested a man who allegedly tried to extort $1.5 million from United Airlines by threatening to shoot down an airliner bound for Los Angeles. Orvile Spence, 48, was arrested Friday night in the Lennox area as he attempted to pick up the money he demanded, said Charlie Parsons, special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office. About noon Friday, Spence telephoned United Airlines officials in Chicago and threatened to use a Vietnam War-era weapon known as a Law rocket to shoot down a Los Angeles-bound passenger jet, Parsons said.
September 25, 1991
A Los Angeles Municipal Court judge has ruled that two men should be arraigned on charges that they attempted to extort $100,000 from state Sen. Charles M. Calderon (D-Whittier) by threatening last winter to expose alleged political improprieties while Calderon was running for county supervisor. Steven Newton, who is married to Calderon's ex-wife, Jeanine, and Newton's half-brother, Robert Moreno, are scheduled to be arraigned on three felony charges Oct.
December 15, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A judge set bail at $500,000 Thursday for a chauffeur for Yoko Ono after a prosecutor said he tried to extort $2 million from John Lennon's widow and "had people on standby waiting to kill" her. Koral Karsan, 50, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on a first-degree attempted grand larceny charge. His lawyer, Patrick Kevin Brosnahan, said his client was not guilty and "will vigorously dispute these charges."
Los Angeles Times Articles