extortion

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Avenatti Comes Out Swinging Against Nike

He says he will reveal 'major scandal'

(Newser) - Attorney Michael Avenatti came out swinging Tuesday against Nike, accusing the shoemaker—without evidence—of "rampant" corruption mere hours after he was released from custody on charges he tried to extort up to $25 million from the company. In a string of posts on Twitter —a medium he... More »

Avenatti's Alleged Co-Conspirator Is a Huge Name in Legal Circles

Mark Geragos has represented Michael Jackson, Jussie Smollett, and more

(Newser) - Michael Avenatti is in hot water legally on accusations that he tried to extort Nike . Turns out, his alleged co-conspirator is a big name, too. CNN was among numerous outlets Monday to name Mark Geragos as the unnamed co-conspirator in the indictment. After doing so, the network fired Geragos... More »

Defiant Avenatti Is Freed on $300K Bond

He's accused of 'old-fashioned shakedown'

(Newser) - A defiant Michael Avenatti was freed on $300,000 bond and promised to keep "fighting that good fight" Monday night after his arrest on charges including extortion and wire fraud . Stormy Daniels' former lawyer, who did not enter a plea during an appearance in federal court in New York,... More »

Bezos' Blackmail Claims Get a Response From AMI

And more on the Amazon founder's allegations of blackmail

(Newser) - Jeff Bezos was made an offer he couldn't refuse and refused it, very publicly, on Thursday, by way of a Medium blog post that outlined National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc.'s (AMI) alleged attempt to blackmail him with sexual photos. AMI responded Friday morning with a... More »

Email Bomb Threats Were a Hoax—and a 'Terrible Strategy'

Extortion warnings sent around the US, Canada demanded $20K in bitcoin

(Newser) - Chaos ensued across the US, Canada, and New Zealand Thursday after schools, businesses, government buildings, media outlets, and other venues were hit with a wave of email threats that warned of bombs going off at each target if $20,000 in bitcoin wasn't paid up, USA Today reports. Police... More »

NH Family Was Sent Odd Riddles Demanding $250K

The owners of the Rickety Ranch in Hollis, NH, have had a tough 2 years

(Newser) - If the Rickety Ranch sounds to you like the name of a place that might appear on a TV show, you're right in one respect: There's plenty of drama going on around it. Officials say the Hollis, NH, farm has been on the receiving end of a bizarre... More »

Collins on Effort to Sway Vote on Kavanaugh: It's Bribery

Watchdog group wants DOJ to investigate groups crowdfunding to pressure Maine senator

(Newser) - More than $1.2 million has been raised to help convince Sen. Susan Collins she shouldn't cast her vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but the Maine pol isn't exactly motivated by the cash influx. Mainers for Accountable Leadership, the Maine People's Alliance, and a group... More »

Asia Argento: Let's Talk About 'Phase 2' of #MeToo

Actress's lawyer says it was Jimmy Bennett who sexually assaulted his client, not other way around

(Newser) - Asia Argento has already strongly denied the story of Jimmy Bennett, the man who says she sexually abused him when he was a teen—and now she says Bennett was the abuser, not the victim. Mark Jay Heller, the #MeToo advocate's lawyer, tells TMZ it was Bennett who sexually... More »

Alleged 'Dine-and-Dash Dater' Faces 13 Years in Prison

Paul Gonzales charged with extortion, grand theft

(Newser) - A man who fled at least 10 restaurant dates without paying his bill, earning him the title of "Dine-and-Dash Dater," has finally been nabbed, say law enforcement officials in California. Paul Gonzales, 45, pleaded not guilty Monday to extortion, attempted extortion, grand theft, and petty theft charges, reports... More »

3 Gay Rights Activists Found Dead in Mexico

Cops say killings were linked to extortion

(Newser) - Mexican officials say three gay rights activists have been shot dead and left along a highway in the troubled southern state of Guerrero. Guerrero security spokesman Roberto Alvarez says the bodies were found Sunday on a road between Taxco and Cuernavaca with bullet wounds to the head. Alvarez said Tuesday... More »

RI State Senator, 27, Charged With Extorting Sex

Nicholas Kettle has pleaded not guilty

(Newser) - A grand jury indictment unsealed Monday accuses a Republican state senator of extorting sex from a page in the Senate's page program. The indictment was unsealed as Senate Minority Whip Nicholas Kettle was arraigned on two counts of extortion in Providence Superior Court. Kettle, of Coventry, is accused of... More »

Prisons Face 'Unique Challenges' With MS-13

Officials grapple with more fights, attacks, even extortion as MS-13 population rises behind bars

(Newser) - The good news: Hundreds of MS-13 gang members have been arrested over the past few years. The bad news: Those gang members are now wreaking havoc in the prisons they're in, perpetrating acts of violence and extortion to gain control over their locked-down domains. The Washington Post details the... More »

Sisters Allegedly Try Internet Scam on Nigerian Billionaire

And yes we recognize the irony

(Newser) - Someone alert Alanis Morissette because a Nigerian billionaire is apparently on the receiving end of an alleged internet scam. The Toronto Star reports the ironic situation is unfolding around two sisters from Toronto—Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo—recently arrested in Lagos, Nigeria. The sisters Matharoo were "fixtures in the... More »

Woman Who Says Spitzer Choked Her Arrested: Cops

Svetlana Zakharova allegedly said she'd 'ruin his life' if ex-NY governor didn't pay up

(Newser) - A young Russian woman who put former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer back in the tabloid headlines last winter when she told doctors he had choked her at a Manhattan hotel has been arrested for trying to extort money from him, police say. Svetlana Zakharova, 26, was arrested Monday night... More »

Cops: Man Tumbles Out of Moving Car to Extort Cash From Mom

Maybe he could've asked for an advance on his allowance instead?

(Newser) - In a scene resembling something out of a cheesy B-action movie, a man with his hands tied behind his back and a bag over his head fell out of a moving car on an Oregon highway over the weekend, the apparent victim of a kidnapping attempt. But investigators in Camas,... More »

Charges: Maid Tried to Blackmail Ex-Waffle House CEO Using Sex Tape

She and her lawyers were allegedly seeking millions

(Newser) - A woman and her attorneys have been charged with secretly videotaping her having sex with a former Waffle House CEO and using the recording to try to extort millions of dollars from him, the AP reports. Mye Brindle, John Butters, and David Cohen were indicted Friday. The indictment alleges former... More »

Hearst's 'Dark' Plot Against Orson Welles, Citizen Kane

Upcoming book says media mogul tried everything he could to discredit director

(Newser) - Orson Welles may not have thought William Randolph Hearst himself was out to directly sabotage Citizen Kane, the movie partly based on the tycoon's life, but documents never before published appear to show what the Guardian labels a seedy scheme against Welles and RKO pictures, including "extortion, media... More »

Cosby Accuses Alleged Teen Victim of Extortion

Seeks dismissal of lawsuit by Judy Huth

(Newser) - A woman suing Bill Cosby for sexual battery attempted to sell a story about the comedian to a tabloid a decade ago and tried to extort money in exchange for her silence, Cosby's attorney said in a court filing today. Attorney Martin Singer wrote in the filing that the... More »

Drugs No Longer Mexico Cartel's Top Earner

Knights Templar now a mining, logging, extortion cartel

(Newser) - Mexico's Knights Templar cartel has diversified so much that instead of being a drug cartel, the organization that started out smuggling crystal meth is now more of an extortion, logging, and mining cartel with a profitable sideline in drugs, the AP finds. In the cartel's home state of... More »

Miss Teen USA Tangled in 'Sextortion' Case

Suspect charged with extortion, hacked up to 40 computers: police

(Newser) - A 19-year-old man was charged yesterday with hacking webcams at the home of Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf and other women to extort nude photos and videos from them, with authorities contending he forced several women to strip. Jared James Abrahams of Temecula surrendered to FBI agents to face an... More »

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