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Two arrested in Stevie Wonder extortion plot
May 12, 2012 / 12:31 AM / 5 years ago

Two arrested in Stevie Wonder extortion plot

<p>Stevie Wonder smiles as he performs during a concert in the East Room of the White House honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, both of whom will be awarded the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, in Washington, May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst</p>

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Stevie Wonder’s nephew has been arrested and charged with an extortion scheme against the singer, Los Angeles prosecutors said on Friday.

Alpha Lorenzo Walker, 38, was arrested on May 2, along with another alleged conspirator, Tamara Eileen Diaz. The pair had threatened to reveal information they claimed would be embarrassing to the “Superstition” singer unless he met their demands, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office said.

Celebrity website TMZ.com, citing law enforcement sources, said the pair demanded $5 million (3.11 million pounds) from Wonder and threatened to go to the media with a tale of incest. They later lowered the sum to $10,000 and were arrested by undercover police posing as representatives of the musician.

The District Attorney’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the nature or details of the alleged extortion plot.

Walker and Diaz have pleaded not guilty to extortion but are being held in jail awaiting a preliminary hearing next week that will determine whether there is enough evidence for a full trial.

Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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