Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 6, 2012

Calif. man arraigned in W.Va. extortion ploi

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A California man has been arraigned on charges of trying to extort $13 million from a West Virginia coal executive.

Court filings show that West Hollywood resident Vivek Shah appeared Tuesday before Magistrate Clarke VanDervort in U.S. District Court in Beckley.

Records in the case have been sealed. The 25-year-old aspiring actor was indicted in August on charges he threatened to kill relatives of Foresight Reserves owner Christopher Cline if Cline refused to pay him.

Cline has homes in Beckley and North Palm Beach, Fla.

Shah allegedly 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 an internet company founder from Chicago.

His trial is set for Jan. 7, 2013.

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