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W. Virginia extortion trial set for California man

Published September 4, 2012 12:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Beckley, W.Va. • A California man accused of trying to extort $13 million from a West Virginia coal executive was arraigned Tuesday in Beckley, and his trial was scheduled for Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court.

Vivek Shah was indicted last month on charges he threatened to kill relatives of Foresight Reserves owner Christopher Cline if Cline didn't pay up.

Court documents say Shah targeted four other wealthy but unnamed victims, including a film studio co-founder from Connecticut, two oil and gas millionaires in Texas and Florida, and the founder of an internet company in Chicago.

Shah, a 25-year-old aspiring actor, is charged with four counts of interfering with interstate commerce and using interstate commerce to threaten extortion.