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Calif. man sentenced in W.Va. extortion scheme

September 11, 2013
Associated Press

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A California man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for trying to extort tens of millions of dollars from a West Virginia coal company executive and others.

Aspiring actor Vivek Shah of West Hollywood, Calif., was sentenced Wednesday in Beckley federal court. He pleaded guilty in May to one count of transferring threatening communications in interstate commerce and seven counts of mailing or sending threatening communications through the mail.

The 25-year-old Shah was charged with threatening to kill relatives of Foresight Reserves owner Christopher Cline if he refused to pay $13 million.

Other families targeted were those of film producer Harvey Weinstein; Playtone film producer Gary Goetzman; Relativity Media founder Ryan Kavanaugh; oil heiress Dannine Avara; Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky; and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula.



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