Terrorism charges brought against aspiring actor

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 24, 2012

CHARLESTON – Terrorism charges have been brought against an aspiring actor who is accused of attempting to extort millions of dollars from prominent people including Beckley native Christopher Cline, who owns a majority stake in Foresight Reserves.

A federal grand jury in Charleston first indicted Vivek M. Shah, 25, on Aug. 21 on four counts of interfering with interstate commerce and using interstate commerce to threaten extortion earlier this year.

On Oct. 16, a superseding indictment was filed in U.S. District Court and added two counts of acts of terrorism, five counts of identity fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft against Shah. He remains at Southern Regional Jail, where he has been since Aug. 28.

U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger issued a gag order on Aug. 29 forbidding anyone involved in the case from speaking with the media and restricting online access to court documents from the public.

Shah was taken into federal custody on Aug. 10 in Schaumburg, Ill.

An affidavit from a U.S. Postal Service inspector claims he targeted several people, claiming he would harm their families unless they paid him large sums of money.

Berger signed on order on Oct. 23 to postpone Shah’s trial until Jan. 7, 2013. Shah’s attorney, Troy N. Giatras, requested the delay.

Shah’s arraignment on the new charges against him is set for Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m. in Beckley.

Because of the gag order, Giatras said he had no comment regarding the case.

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