DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Bizarre Stamos Extortion Plots

Feds: Michigan couple tried twice to shake down star

John Stamos

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Bizarre Stamos Extortion Plots Detailed

MAY 13--A Michigan couple's screwball attempts to shake down John Stamos over purported compromising photographs of the actor are detailed by prosecutors in a three-count extortion indictment filed this week in federal court.

According to investigators, Scott Sippola and Allison Coss first targeted Stamos, 46, last September, when they "created a fictitious character by the name of 'Jessica T," who claimed to have become pregnant after a "brief sexual encounter" with the actor. In one e-mail to Stamos, "Jessica T" noted that "if this gets out I am screwed, but most of all you are screwed ten times more than me," adding that "That night was full of drinking and drugs and I am sure you do not want any of those pictures to get out." According to the indictment, a copy of which you'll find here, Sippola, 31, and Coss, 23, knew that Stamos "had engaged in no such relationship." The pair apparently abandoned that shakedown approach in favor of a second bid that involved e-mails from a "Brian L," who claimed to have compromising photos of Stamos and Coss. Stamos, the former star of TV's "Full House," met Coss during a 2004 trip to Florida, and has kept in contact with her "primarily through email" since then.

Prosecutors allege that Sippola and Coss, posing as "Brian L," sought to extort about $700,000 from Stamos in return for damaging photos of the actor and Coss. The images, "Brian L" claimed in e-mails, were the subject of a bidding war between supermarket tabloids. To help propel the scheme, Coss personally wrote to Stamos and claimed that she was being shaken down by a person named "Brian" who had somehow "come into possession of compromising photographs of Stamos and her." Coss claimed that she had already paid "Brian" $10,000 for one photo, but that he was asking for more money. "I can just tell he is just trying to get money from these pics and that is so wrong," she wrote to Stamos. She then asked the star "if she could allow 'Brian' to contact Stamos directly," the indictment contends.

The FBI, of course, was then summoned by Stamos's lawyer. Posing as a representative of the actor, an undercover agent negotiated the purchase of the photos and arranged a meeting with "Brian L" to deliver cash. Coss and Sippola, who "have been involved in a romantic relationship since 2008," were later arrested near the drop site, a Princeton, Michigan airport. (9 pages)