A candidate for Largo Commission is facing felony extortion charges after police claim he attempted to force an opponent to drop out of the race.
The 31-year-old who is running for Seat 3 on the commission, sent an anonymous email to one of his opponents through the candidate’s website on Aug. 29, according to the Largo Police Department.
The email allegedly stated that the sender had negative information about the politician and the information would be released if he did not drop out of the race, police said.
Investigators got the IP address of the email’s sender and learned that it allegedly belonged to the accused.
The man was arrested on Monday and was being held at the Pinellas County Jail on $10,000 bond.
Extortion is a crime where someone obtains something, usually goods or services, by using threats. There are many different types of threats that can be classified as extortion, including threatening to reveal secrets that could damage a person’s public reputation or to the reputation of their business.
Extortion is also federal crime. Those who are convicted of extortion could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison. In addition to jail, there is also the very real possibility of large fines and civil action.
Extortion is not a criminal offense that should be taken lightly. If you are facing allegations of extortion, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are being protected.