Another trio of small-time crooks have been charged with extortion for threatening to expose a California client of an online prostitute. These Fresno-based operators, working with an escort who used Craigslist to meet her client, demanded cash in exchange for keeping his prostitution habit a secret. Is this a copycat crime, inspired by the three scammers who told a Bay Area tech executive they'd leak a sex tape of him with a prostitute unless he paid them off? If the accused Silicon Valley extortionists were reminiscent of The Big Sleep, with their requested $250,000 bribe, the Central Valley guys are more The Big Lebowksi. They said they'd keep mum for a mere $3,000, to be left "in a shopping cart in a parking lot" of a local mall.
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