Alleged prostitute accused in $3M extortion

Rebecca Ungarino
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An alleged Westland, Michigan, prostitute and her parents were accused of extorting almost $3 million from a retired software magnate, The Detroit News reported this week.

Jessica Tackett, 25, and her parents were running a "years-long" scheme against Paul Vagnozzi, of Orchard Lake, Michigan, by threatening to tell authorities about a case of sexual promiscuity involving Vagnozzi, Tackett and an underage female, if Vagnozzi did not pay the Tackett family millions.

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The Tackett family was indicted in federal court this week with 119 counts of extortion of over $2.6 million, The News reported. Vagnozzi owned software company Cypress Corp., which he sold in 2005 for $8.7 million, according to the report. He reportedly paid for the father's "lavish lifestyle" so police would not find out about his alleged escapade.

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According to The Detroit News, father Terry Tackett allegedly threatened to attack Vagnozzi and ordered accomplices in a motorcycle club to hurt the retired businessman if he did not pay the family to remain quiet. He faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice, tax evasion, money laundering and banking crimes, The News reported.

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His daughter, Jessica, and wife Kimberly face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines if they are found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the report.

Read the full report in The Detroit News.

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