If you were thinking the Mario Williams saga was the most sensational Buffalo sports story of late, well, you’re not totally wrong. But the following report from the Buffalo News’ Phil Fairbanks provides somewhat cryptic hints that Sabres owner Terry Pegula might have some rather wild messages on his cell phone, too.
Vivek Shah, 25, of West Hollywood, pleaded guilty in a West Virginia federal court earlier this month to charges of attempting to extort money from Pegula. The deal with prosecutors could land him in prison for up to 87 months.
The details of Shah’s plea deal are still unknown – the agreement has been sealed and the parties are under a court-mandated gag order – but the Associated Press has reported that he pleaded guilty to one count of transferring threatening communications through interstate commerce and seven counts of mailing or sending threatening communications through the mail.
Shah, who was set to go on trial this month, was accused in August of sending letters that threatened to kill the relatives of his targets if he did not receive millions of dollars.
Federal prosecutors say he also targeted film producer Harvey Weinstein and West Virginia coal magnate Christopher Cline as part of “a multimillion-dollar extortion attempt.”
“He’s a good kid; he’s an actor,” Patrick E. Boyle, his lawyer, said at the time of his arrest. “He’s had small roles in movies and done television commercials.”