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November 7, 2002 | From Associated Press
A South Carolina man was charged Wednesday with trying to extort $3 million for the safe return of Elizabeth Smart, the 14-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom in June. The FBI said it couldn't rule out Walter Holloway, 18, as the kidnapper until they found him Tuesday in Charleston, S.C., typing his latest demands by e-mail.
December 5, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A 37-year-old Santa Barbara man was denied bail Thursday and remains in federal custody on charges of attempting to extort $50,000 to $60,000 from the Chumash Casino after phone threats were made against casino buses and bus drivers. Genario Serveriano Basilio was arrested by FBI agents from the Santa Maria office Sunday after allegedly picking up the money drop from the men's restroom at the restaurant where he works in the exclusive enclave of Montecito, federal officials report.
May 3, 1988
A North Hollywood man accused of collecting debts for the Mafia was sentenced Monday to two years in prison, becoming the first defendant to be sentenced in a wide-ranging case that targeted the entire hierarchy of the Los Angeles crime family. Stephen Munichiello, 29, who pleaded guilty to two extortion and conspiracy counts, was also sentenced to 2 1/2 years' probation by U.S. District Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez.
May 28, 1992 | From a Times Staff Writer
Former California Coastal Commissioner Mark L. Nathanson pleaded not guilty Wednesday to eight felony counts alleging that he used his office to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from people seeking coastal development permits. Outside the courthouse after his brief arraignment in federal court, Nathanson told reporters: "I came up to Sacramento to plead not guilty because I am not guilty, and I will prove that in court when we have our trial."
June 26, 1991 | JAMES RAINEY
Two men have been charged with attempting to extort $100,000 from state Sen. Charles M. Calderon by threatening last winter to expose alleged political improprieties while Calderon was running for county supervisor. Expected to surrender in East Los Angeles Municipal Court today on three felony charges is Steven Newton--who is married to Calderon's ex-wife, Jeannine. Also charged is Robert Mareno, Newton's half-brother.
August 5, 2010 | Wire reports
A Kentucky woman was convicted Thursday of demanding millions of dollars from Rick Pitino to keep secret their one-night stand in a restaurant, then claiming the Louisville basketball coach raped her after he reported the extortion. Karen Cunagin Sypher, 50, of Louisville, was found guilty of three counts of extortion, two counts of lying to the FBI and one count of retaliating against a witness. She stared at the ceiling as the verdict was read, while one of her sons wept openly.
November 9, 1999
Federal prosecutors said Monday they will retry two Armenian immigrants and drop charges against a third emigre accused of trying to extort money from the immigrant owners of a Glendale sewing business. A jury deadlocked 10-2 and 9-3 in favor of acquittal on most of the counts against the men following a three-week trial last month. Assistant U.S. Atty. Daniel Saunders told Judge Richard A.
A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted California Coastal Commissioner Mark L. Nathanson on eight felony counts, charging that he attempted to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from an A-list of Hollywood figures including actor Sylvester Stallone, former Fox Inc. Chairman Barry Diller, and "Rocky" producer Irwin Winkler. The lengthy indictment charged Nathanson with extortion, racketeering, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and income tax evasion.
August 5, 1988 | JOHN J. GOLDMAN and EILEEN V. QUIGLEY, Times Staff Writers
A federal court jury found 10-term Rep. Mario Biaggi guilty Thursday of extorting $3.6 million of stock from the Wedtech Corp. in exchange for using his political influence to obtain military contracts for the South Bronx defense firm, which President Reagan once hailed as a symbol of free enterprise.
January 4, 2010 | By Anthony McCartney
There was no shortage of celebrity secrets for sale in 2009, with John Travolta, David Letterman, Cindy Crawford and others claiming they were victims of extortion. From Letterman's monologue describing sexual liaisons with staffers to Travolta's emotional testimony about his son's death, celebrities confronted information and allegations that others offered to keep secret, for a price. And those are just the cases that came to light. Experts say extortion is a constant threat to the rich and famous.
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