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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 »

Michigan Woman Accused in $250K Sex Extortion Plot

FBI says ex-model sought hush money from 'wealthy businessman'

(Newser) - The police blotter offers a note of caution for 60-something rich guys who suddenly find themselves being wooed by stunningly attractive younger women: An ex-model who apparently thought she found a soft target ended up on the wrong side of an FBI sting in a $250,000 extortion plot. The... More »

Latest Woe for Paula Deen: Extortion

Man arrested, wanted $250K not to release 'damning' information

(Newser) - We can safely assume Paula Deen is not having a very nice holiday weekend . The latest: Authorities today arrested a New York man charged with trying to extort money from her, in exchange for not going to the media with "true and damning statements" he said she made. According... More »

We Investigated Whitney Houston Extortion: FBI

128-page file detailing pure craziness released

(Newser) - Newly released FBI files on Whitney Houston reveal that the bureau once investigated an alleged extortion attempt against the singer, Reuters reports. The 128 pages of files were posted on the FBI's website yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The alleged extortion attempt was reported... More »

CNN Receives Bomb Threat, $15K Extortion Attempt

Police still looking for man who made threatening call

(Newser) - CNN received a bomb threat early this morning as part of a $15,000 extortion attempt, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . A man called police at 4am, threatening to detonate a chemical bomb at the cable news headquarters unless he was given the money and a plane ticket, according to Atlanta... More »

Hollywood Bit Actor Accused of Extortion Death Plot

Vivek Shah threatened to kill targets' kin, say feds

(Newser) - A small-time Hollywood actor has been accused of attempting to extort millions of dollars from wealthy individuals by threatening their relatives with death if they didn't pay up, reports the Wall Street Journal . Vivek Shah, 25, mailed extorting letters to five people, according to court documents. He demanded wealthy... More »

Kris Humphries Calls FBI on Ex

Not Kim Kardashian ... Myla Sinanaj

(Newser) - Kris Humphries hasn't had the best luck with the ladies as of late, and his latest headache has nothing to do with Kim Kardashian. TMZ reports that the athlete's lawyers have been talking to the FBI about Myla Sinanaj, an ex who they claim is attempting to extort... More »

NM Town Elects Mayor Who's Barred From City Hall

Indicted mayor can't talk to city officials either

(Newser) - Sunland Park, New Mexico, elected 28-year-old Daniel Salinas as mayor yesterday, but Salinas is going to have a tough time doing the job; he's forbidden by law from stepping foot on city property or talking to city workers. Salinas, the town's current mayor pro tem, has been charged... More »

Hacker Releases Symantec Code After Extortion Fails

Anonymous-linked hacker tried to extort $50K from antivirus firm

(Newser) - A hacker has made good on a threat to release the source code for Symantec's pcAnywhere tool after failing to extort $50,000 from the antivirus company. The release raises fears that other hackers could find security holes in the product, but Symantec says it was prepared for the... More »

Feds Bust Woman in Duggar Extortion

Teresa Hunt had not-so-racy photos of a cousin, wanted '19 Kids and Counting' axed

(Newser) - For anyone who has ever wished TLC would ax the reality abomination known as 19 Kids and Counting, you have company, albeit slightly batty company. Seems feds have charged Iowa photog Teresa Hunt with trying to extort the parent company of TLC, which airs Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's... More »

Kidnapped Dog Dumped Dead on Tracks

Jagger held for $1,000 ransom demand texted to owner

(Newser) - Mourn poor Jagger, a friendly, goofy English bulldog who was like "one of the family" to his wheelchair-bound mistress. He was kidnapped last month from his home in Washington state and held for a ransom of $1,000, plus prescription pain pills—demands texted to Jagger's owner along... More »

Bombers Tried to Extort Money From Ikea: Cops

Two men in Poland charged with series of explosions

(Newser) - Bizarrre extortion case: Two men in Poland are charged with setting off bombs at eight Ikea stores throughout Europe over the last several months. Police say the pair demanded that the furniture chain pay $8 million for the bombings to stop, reports CNN . Only a few minor injuries were reported... More »

Businessman Blackmailed Berlusconi: Cops

Italian PM ready to leave his 'shitty' country

(Newser) - The “bunga bunga” fallout continues: Police nabbed an Italian businessman for allegedly blackmailing Silvio Berlusconi in the sex scandal that’s clouded his tenure as prime minister. Giampaolo Tarantini has acknowledged recruiting women for Berlusconi’s alleged sex parties, but he’s maintained that the PM didn’t know... More »

Aussie 'Collar Bomb' Suspect Busted in Kentucky

Suspect is 50-year-old businessman with links to victim's family

(Newser) - An Australian suspected of being the man who broke into a Sydney home and attached a phony collar bomb to a teenage girl has been arrested in Kentucky. Paul "Doug" Peters, 50, was arrested in a Louisville suburb by a team of FBI agents and Australian police, reports the... More »

Neck Bomber Left Bizarre Clues

Note listed name of Dirk Struan, obscure novel character

(Newser) - Whoever chained a fake bomb to 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver’s neck must have been well-read. The perpetrator left behind a ransom note that was signed “Dirk Struan”—the protagonist of James Clavell’s 1966 novel Tai-Pan, which told the story of two warring businessmen during the 1842 Opium... More »

'Bomb' Attached to Australia Girl a 'Very Elaborate Hoax'

Madeleine Pulver is 'uncomfortable' but OK

(Newser) - A device, thought to be a bomb, attached to an Australian teen for 10 hours yesterday was actually "a very, very elaborate hoax," police say. A masked man affixed the device to Madeleine Pulver, 18, with "a chain or something similar," says an officer, which took... More »

Obama Must Call GOP's 'Bluff' on Debt Ceiling

Can't let hostage-holding House run the country: Paul Krugman

(Newser) - Look out, President Obama: House Republicans have created another “hostage situation.” This time, they’re holding the debt ceiling for a ransom of big spending cuts, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times . The Republican Party doesn't control the White House or the Senate, so you... More »

Feds Focus Crime Probe on Karzai Brother

Afghan president's bro linked to tax evasion, extortion

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors in New York have launched a corruption investigation into business operations belonging to Afghan president Hamid Karzai's brother. Mamood Karzai, who is a US citizen, is being probed for tax evasion, extortion, and racketeering that may be linked in part to US loans he obtained to build his... More »

Van der Sloot: Sure, I Extorted the Holloways

Her parents had made his life really difficult

(Newser) - When the family of Natalee Holloway offered Joran Van der Sloot cash for the location of her body, he figured who was he to turn them down? The murder suspect tells Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf today that he took $25,000 from Natalee's mother, then flew to Latin America—where... More »

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