14 months in prison for crooked cop’s associate

Posted: June 30, 2011

A businessman who was convicted this year in an extortion plot involving former Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison this morning.

Alan Kats, 54, of Huntington Valley, pleaded guilty in February for attempted extortionate collection of credit.

Katz received a reduced sentence for providing "substantial assistance" to prosecutors and was remorseful today.

Authorities said Castro had referred the services of a so called strong-arm collector to Kats and a city restaurateur last year. The collector was really an undercover FBI agent. Kats wanted help recovering a debt.

Kats and the restaurateur, Billy Wong, who also pleaded guilty in the case, were business associates.

In 2009, Kats lent money to a city nightclub operator to invest in a new club. The club never opened, and Kats lost $26,000 on the deal.

Castro, who is to be sentenced in September, was found guilty of lying to the FBI and attempted extortionate collection of credit.

He is believed to have been the highest ranking police officer to face criminal charges in more than two decades.

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