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Actor Vivek Shah sentenced to 7 years for extortion plot

Vivek Shah with Angelina Jolie.

Atlanta, GA: Vivek Shah, 26, a struggling actor who has only had bit parts in various television shows, films and a commercial has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison by a federal judge in West Virginia recently for allegedly trying to extort $4 million from Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein and other wealthy targets, according to media reports. Weinstein was one of seven wealthy individuals targeted in a scheme that sought a total of $122.9 million in shakedown payments, records show.

Shah was arrested in August last year, and charged with multiple counts of extortion in the case. The 26-year-old was arrested in August 2012 on charges he threatened to kill relatives of West Virginia coal magnate Christopher Cline if he refused to part with $13 million.

The extortion letters included a demand for a specific sum of money, a deadline for payment, and wiring instructions. The letters also warned victims that a relative of theirs could be harmed if they did not comply with demands, according to the indictment.

The extortion victims also include Terrence Pegula, a billionaire who owns the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky and Dannine Avara, daughter of an oil tycoon.

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