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Calif. extortion suspect heads back to W.Va. court

Dec. 05, 2012 @ 07:54 AM

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A judge is set to hear why a California man wants to fire his lawyer while awaiting trial on extortion charges.

U.S. Magistrate Clarke VanDervort is set to hear Vivek Shah's argument at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Beckley.

Federal court records in the case are sealed. But the docket report shows the 25-year-old aspiring actor from West Hollywood filed a motion last week to relieve Charleston attorney Troy Giatra and represent himself.

Shah was indicted in August on charges he threatened to kill relatives of Foresight Reserves owner Christopher Cline if Cline refused to pay him $13 million.

Shah allegedly targeted four other wealthy but unnamed victims, including a film studio co-founder from Connecticut, oil and gas millionaires in Texas and Florida, and an internet company founder from Chicago.

 

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