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Extortion

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NEWS
June 21, 2012 | By Joe Mandak, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - An Ohio man was arrested Wednesday on federal charges that he posted an anonymous YouTube video and a follow-up comment claiming to have stolen computer records from the University of Pittsburgh and threatening to release them unless the school's chancellor made a public apology. Alexander Waterland, 24, a Loveland, Ohio, man who worked as a computer specialist for an online prescription-drug service, was released on bond by a federal magistrate in Cincinnati, with the understanding that he will appear before a magistrate in Western Pennsylvania next week, according to U.S. Attorney David Hickton's office in Pittsburgh.
NEWS
June 20, 2011 | Associated Press
SCRANTON - Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday in the corruption trial of a northeastern Pennsylvania county commissioner and his former colleague. Lackawanna County Commissioner A.J. Munchak and former Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro are charged in federal court with extortion, racketeering, and conspiracy. The two were charged as part of a larger probe targeting corruption in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. A 41-count indictment accuses them of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from companies seeking county business and extorting companies that held lucrative government contracts.
NEWS
March 1, 1986
Edwin Guthman certainly is correct about one thing: The recent use of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia to blackmail and harass Fidelity Bank into "public interest" loans is a great example to be examined in the debate in Congress over Legal Services Corporation budget requests (Op-ed Page, Feb. 23). Legal Services money, which is taxed away from U.S. citizens, has long been used to finance class-action suits and to research legal harassment of innocent business firms. In the case of the recent action represented by Henry J. Sommer, a voluntary merger of two banks was threatened by a group that took advantage of authoritarian laws that require banks to "serve the convenience and needs of their communities.
NEWS
February 20, 2004 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a case alleging corruption in the Philadelphia prison system, three current or former corrections officers were indicted yesterday on charges that they got cash from inmates in return for smuggling cell phones, cigarettes and marijuana behind bars. The federal indictment said the scheme enabled inmates to enjoy unmonitored phone calls and smoke cigarettes, which are banned in city prisons, or sell them at a substantial profit to other prisoners. Acting Prison Commissioner Leon A. King II said the case highlighted the very serious problem of contraband in the prisons.
NEWS
October 17, 1991 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
Rotha Kim wanted to change his image, so he had the tattoo of a scorpion on his arm covered with one of a cobra. "We all had scorpions," said Kim, 21, in a police statement. "But we covered them up with a cobra because everyone was saying our gang was bad. " Yesterday, Kim, of 6th Street near Reed, and two other reputed members of the Scorpion gang of Cambodian refugees were convicted of extorting about $1,000 last year from a South Philadelphia Cambodian businessman. Common Pleas Judge G. Craig Lord deferred sentencing Kim; Son Pech, 25, of Greenwich Street near 5th; and Phu Chim, 20, of Earp Street near 7th, pending motions for a new trial on three counts of extortion, terroristic threats and conspiracy.
NEWS
December 8, 1993 | By Dianna Marder, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Chinatown businessman and a retired Philadelphia police officer were indicted yesterday in connection with a scheme to extort more than $50,000 in "protection" money from local massage parlors. The federal grand jury indictment charges John Tom, 42, of the 200 block of North Ninth Street, and Richard Pagliarella, 62, of the 1800 block of Hartranft Street, with conspiracy, extortion and attempted extortion, according to U.S. Attorney Michael R. Stiles. If convicted on all counts, Tom and Pagliarella face a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and fines of $250,000.
NEWS
June 9, 1990 | By Joseph P. Blake, Daily News Staff Writer
Three Vietnamese men accused of extorting money from a Chinese restaurant owner were convicted yesterday of extortion, conspiracy, terroristic threats and attempted theft. In a non-jury trial, Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Engel Temin found Hoi Tieu, 20, Hung Lam, 21, and Cuong Diep, 30, guilty of extorting $500 in June 1989 from Ken Hoi Chan, owner of the Joy Tsin Lau Restaurant on Race near 10th Street. Lam, Tieu and Diep are members of a loosely knit street gang that preyed mostly on other Asians, according to Assistant District Attorney Louisa Ashmead.
NEWS
September 3, 1987 | By JIM SMITH, Daily News Staff Writer (Staff writer Scott Heimer contributed to this report.)
Common Pleas Judge Kenneth Harris and two of his alleged accomplices today pleaded innocent to charges by a federal grand jury that they ran an extortion racket from the judge's office. Harris, court employee Conrad Cheeks, whom the grand jury described as Harris' aide, and Thomas Henshaw, an associate of Harris, entered the pleas at an arraignment in U.S. District Court before U.S. Magistrate Tullio G. Leomporra, who allowed all three to be released on their own recognizance. However, Cheeks, 42, of Beverly Road near 75th Avenue, and Henshaw, 56, of 11th Street near Venango, each were required to sign their own $20,000 unsecured bond.
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NEWS
August 24, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
"EITHER YOU buy these or I take your car, 'cause it's unregistered. " Officer Matthew Zagursky didn't mince words Thursday when he flashed tickets to the Hero Thrill Show, a fundraiser that supports the families of fallen officers and firefighters, to two men after pulling them over. And yesterday, hours after a recording of that exchange went viral, Commissioner Charles Ramsey didn't either. "No part of that video is good," Ramsey said of the footage, which also shows Zagursky spouting homophobic slurs.
NEWS
August 14, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A JUDGE yesterday sentenced a former cop who robbed drug dealers and users of prescription pills and money to feed his drug addiction to eight years in prison. U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno's sentence, imposed on Christopher Saravello, was within the advisory guideline range. Saravello, 38, who joined the force in 2007 and worked out of Chinatown's 6th District, pleaded guilty in February to conspiring with three drug dealers to rob other dealers and buyers of money and drugs from November 2011 to June 2012 while he was a cop. One of Saravello's accomplices was his South Philly drug dealer, Robert Nagy.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Howard and Ghent in court Terrence Howard 's attorney says the actor agreed to his 2012 divorce settlement with Michelle Ghent only because he was afraid his ex-wife would leak damning information about his sex life. Brian Kramer seeks to have a Los Angeles court set aside the settlement, claiming it was the product of "heavy-handed acts of extortion and blackmail" on Ghent's part. Speaking during his opening arguments Tuesday, Kramer promised to play the court an audio recording of Ghent making various threats.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
RICHARD RITCHIE, who was a rising member of Ironworkers Local 401, was sentenced yesterday to four years in federal prison. "I'm not an animal, and I'm not a thug," Ritchie, 46, told U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson. In December, Ritchie pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering and extortion. In June 2010, Ritchie was part of a group of Ironworkers who came out of a car and attacked nonunion workers in a King of Prussia Mall parking lot. The nonunion workers were building a Toys "R" Us store across from the mall.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
FORMER IRONWORKERS business agent Christopher Prophet was sentenced by a federal judge yesterday to five years and three months in prison for vandalizing non-union construction sites and encouraging others to do so. Prophet, 44, looking like a muscular construction worker dressed in blue jeans and a green T-shirt with "Ironworkers Local 401" on its back, told U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson: "I'm truly sorry to the victims and their families....
NEWS
February 28, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday against a Cumberland County, N.J., police officer involved in a controversial fatal shooting alleges that he extorted sex from a woman in exchange for keeping her out of jail. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Camden on behalf of a 22-year-old Bridgeton woman against Bridgeton Police Officer Braheme Days, the Bridgeton Police Department, and the City of Bridgeton. In the suit, Shakera Brown says she was stopped by Days outside a Rite Aid pharmacy on Jan. 20, 2014, in response to a shoplifting complaint.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Former State Treasurer Rob McCord kept his answers short and his head bowed Tuesday morning. As he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted extortion in federal court, McCord gave uncharacteristically clipped responses to a judge's questions: Yes, he understood the charges against him. Yes, he realized that he could be giving up certain rights by pleading guilty. And, yes, he tried to strong-arm campaign donors during his unsuccessful run for governor last year. The Montgomery County Democrat's guilty plea capped a whirlwind month that saw the onetime gubernatorial candidate resign in the middle of his second term and publicly apologize for his actions.
NEWS
February 12, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A 23-year-old South Philadelphia man who conspired with ex-cop Christopher Saravello to rob two drug users of cash was sentenced by a federal judge Wednesday to six months in prison. Robert Powers pleaded guilty last year to his role in two extortions in which he, Saravello and another man, Robert Nagy, set up fake drug transactions and robbed each victim of $1,200. Saravello, 38, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with Nagy, Powers and a third man to rob drug dealers or buyers of money or drugs.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
When raising campaign cash last year, prosecutors say, former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord had a simple and crude message: If he lost his bid for governor, he'd still be treasurer for two years. And you didn't want to be an enemy of the treasurer. That was the picture that emerged Monday as McCord was charged with extortion. Filed days after his abrupt resignation, the charging documents recounted how he allegedly shook down the managing partner of a Philadelphia law firm and a Western Pennsylvania property-management company for campaign contributions by threatening to disrupt their business with the state.
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