Los Angeles: Indian-American actor Vivek Shah, who sent extortion threats to several high profile people including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, has been sentenced to seven years and three months in prison.
The West Hollywood-based Shah had hoped to raise USD 120 million through his elaborate extortion bid. Besides Weinstein, he targeted Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh, Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, Playtone owner Gary Goetzman, oil heiress Dannine Avara and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula.
He pleaded guilty in May to one count of transferring threatening communications in interstate commerce and seven counts of mailing or sending threatening communications through the mail, said the Hollywood Reporter.
"Imagine how terrifying it would be to open the mail and find a threat to kill your spouse or your children," US Attorney Booth Goodwin said in a release.
"This defendant carried out a carefully planned scheme designed to frighten his victims out of more than USD 120 million. It was an extraordinarily brazen crime, and I'm pleased, for the victims' sake, that we were able to put a stop to it so quickly," Goodwin added.
Shah's Facebook page showed photos of him posing with Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and Sofia Vergara.