Actor Vivek Shah is in trouble for attempting to extort Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, but no one can say that he wasn’t professional about it.
Shah has been indicted for attempting to extort a sum of $4 million from Weinstein in a plot by the 25-year-old actor to squeeze a total of $122.9 million from seven wealthy individuals, reports The Smoking Gun. Shah had apparently sent Weinstein “extortion notices” threatening dire consequences should the Hollywood heavyweight refuse to meet the struggling actor’s demands.
“[Victim], if you follow the instructions, then you can take this notice lightly. If you don’t, then expect at least one person dead in the next one year,” said one of the letters. “It could either be [first names of close relatives], or any other close relative.”
The letters included a demand for a specific sum of money, a deadline for payment, and wiring instructions, reports MSN.
Shah has been in jail since August after allegedly attempting to extort $13 million from billionaire coal magnate Christopher Cline. Weinstein received his oddly formal “extortion notice” in June, while Shah allegedly sent similar missives seeking $34 million from Terrence Pegula, a billionaire who owns the Buffalo Sabres hockey team; $16 million from Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky; and $35 million from Dannine Avara, the daughter of an oil tycoon.
Two others received similar “extortion notices,” though they have only been identified by their initials. Shah sought $9.6 million and $11.3 million from victims “G.G.” and “R.K.” respectively.
Shah was arrested on August 10, 2012, just two days before he was to return to L.A., where he was “scheduled for training in handgun shooting” at a gun range, signaling an end to his threatening yet formal and relatively polite correspondences.