A man threatened to send letters accusing his friend of attorney misconduct if not paid $75,000.
Court records show that on October 12, Edward Blackwell, 46, committed extortion when he threatened to accuse his friend of a crime unless he was paid $75,000 by October 19.
Police say that the victim has known Blackwell for many years and hired him to do some billing and filing at his law firm.
The victim told police that, over the past few months, Blackwell had become disrespectful toward him and on October 10 he was forced to fire Blackwell.
Blackwell then allegedly sent the victim a text telling him to read an e-mail he had sent him.
In the e-mail, Blackwell threatens that he will write letters to the Maricopa County Attorney, the Public Defense Service, and the Arizona State Bar, accusing the victim of billing them for hours he did not work. He also reportedly made an allegation that the victim assaulted Blackwell and that he failed to defend clients competently. He reportedly demanded to be paid $75,000 by October 19, or he would send the letters.
Blackwell was located and arrested by police on October 19. Police say they found the e-mail chain regarding the extortion on his cell phone.
Blackwell has been charged with theft by extortion.