Philadelphia Police Probe Extortion Case

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating a seeming extortion plot involving the town's most prominent families and the country club. Several families have received letters demanding thousands of dollars. And if they don't pay up, the letters claim that damaging information about drug use and infidelities will be released.

"It ranges from $60,000 up to as $150,000," said Police Chief Richard Sistrunk. "They seem to target mostly the children of the families, but we have had some letters where it's targeting the husband or the wife."

When the families don't make the drop, a second letter is sent making the same demands. No families have exchanged money, but authorities, including the FBI have.

"We've done it before, to see if anyone would actually go to the drop area," said Sistrunk. "And being that they are always saying it's in the bathroom of the ladies' facility, by law, we can't set cameras up. "So we set up around the building. Staged some golfers. No one ever went to the country club at that time we had the letter."

So far, authorities have no suspects, but they have been able to lift fingerprints from a couple of the typed letters.

It's possible this is just an elaborate joke that would carry a serious punishment.

"We do believe that it's just someone that is messing with a family member and don't have an idea as to why they would do it, other than to mess with them," Sistrunk said.

The person or people behind the letters would be charged with extortion, which carries a prison sentence. So far, the allegations in the letters have proven to be false.

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