Federal Grand Jury Indicts Joran Van der Sloot for Extortion, Wire Fraud
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama announced today that Joran Van der Sloot has been indicted on extortion and wire fraud charges.
According to the indictment, van der Sloot caused Beth Holloway to wire $15,000 from her bank in Birmingham to his account at a bank in the Netherlands. The indictment also charges that he caused her to wire $10,000 to lawyer John Q. Kelly in New York so that Kelly could later carry that money to Aruba and deliver it to van der Sloot in person. The indictment identifies Kelly as an advisor and legal representative of Beth Holloway who served as her intermediary with van der Sloot.
As to how it supposedly went down:
After van der Sloot initially contacted Kelly and said he would reveal the location of Natalee Holloway's remains for $250,000, he later agreed to lead Kelly to the site of her remains for $25,000. Once identification of the remains was confirmed, Beth Holloway was to pay the remaining $225,000 to van der Sloot.
Van der Sloot received the $25,000 from Beth Holloway and led Kelly to a specific site in Aruba. He identified the site as the location where Natalee Holloway's remains were buried, although he knew that information was false.
Van der Sloot kept the $25,000, but later confirmed by e-mail that the information he had provided was "worthless."
The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of $25,100.00, the amount Joran is alleged to have received.
I haven't seen the Indictment yet, but I assume will be on PACER shortly. [Update: Here's a copy.]One thing I haven't seen (and don't expect to): Whose idea was it for Joran to contact Kelly? Did Joran come up with it, or did the Holloway camp (i.e. detectives)get word to him that such an overture would be welcome?
In any event, Joran has bigger problems than this extortion case. He'd probably welcome extradition to the U.S. as a way to get out of prison in Peru, but I don't see that happening. Here's the Interpol warrant for his arrest on the Alabama charges and their press release on the cooperative arrest efforts of Chile and Peru.
It's not entirely clear when Interpol and the U.S. issued the warrants, but it appears to be June 3, which is after Flores was killed. The treaty between Peru and the U.S. would also govern which country gets first dibs, although if I remember correctly, it also provided they could agree to what ever they wanted.
|< Al Gore Accuser Molly Haggerty, Steps Up Allegations | Holiday Travel Alert: Know Your Rights In Arizona >|