Federal agents arrested an aspiring actor for allegedly making death threats against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his family in an attempt to extort $4 million, according to reports.
Vivek Shah, 25, was looking to launch a career in film and television and had scored a few bit parts on “Bones,” “Outsourced” and “The Dark Knight.”
Shah reportedly sent threatening letters to Weinstein and four other powerful magnates including coal magnate Christopher Cline, as well as an oil tycoon and the owner of an NHL team. Weinstein is not named in the affidavit but is instead described as “ a Connecticut resident and co-founder of a film studio.”
“Each of these letters contained a threat to kill named members of the recipient’s family unless a large sum of money was wired to an offshore bank account,” Portal Inspector Joshua Mehall said.
Shah’s Facebook page contained countless photos of him with A-list stars like Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Ozzy Osbourne and Sofia Vergara.
Shah was arrested August 10 at his parents’ home in a suburb of Chicago. He faces 20 years in prison if convincted of sending threatening interstate communications.
According to the Smoking Gun, Shah was “scheduled for training in handgun shooting” at a Los Angeles gun range.
Weinstein has produced such huge Hollywood hits as "Shakespeare in Love," "Scream," "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Artist." He has also won Tony Awards for his Broadway productions of "The Producers" and "Billy Elliot the Musical."