Indian-origin actor threatened to kill Hollywood actors in extortion letters to make millions

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 24, 2012 10:20 hrs

A down-and-out actor of Indian origin sent extortion letters to several celebrities, including film stars and coal tycoons, to make millions from them, according to court documents.

An affidavit claimed that 25-year-old Vivek Shah was registered for handgun training classes in Los Angeles and mailed letters to several affluent people demanding hefty sums of cash.

According to the Daily Mail, the Los Angeles resident was arrested at his parents' Chicago-area home on August 10th, and is currently in custody.

Shah was allegedly trying to extort millions from film magnate Harvey Weinstein and even threatened to kill his family on failure to deposit the amount in an off-shore account.

In addition, Shah also sent extortion letters to Helen Mirren's estate and to the home of Florida coal magnate Christopher Cline.

According to the report, it was the threatening letter sent to Cline that started the police's investigation.

Postal inspector Joshua Mehall testified in an affidavit that a 13-million-dollar extortion letter was sent to the billionaire's home, the report added.

Shah allegedly threatened to kill his family members if the sum was not deposited in an off-shore bank account in Cyprus, Mehall said, the report said.

When federal agents looked into the threat made to Cline, they discovered several other similar threats were made to other wealthy elite, the report added.

According to the report, they also found a Google account opened with a pseudonym, Ray Amin, the same name as a fake California driver's licence that he carried on him.

On his IMDb page, Shah is seen pictured with a number of A-list celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Steve Buscemi.

His IMDb biography said that he was born in Akron, Ohio, and had done small roles in movies like Outsourced, Bones, and Animal Witness.

He also appeared briefly in 2008's The Dark Knight as a bank hostage, the report said. (ANI)

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