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United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
Press Release

March 17, 2011


David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Bridgeport has returned a three-count indictment charging EMANUEL NICOLESCU, 32, formerly residing in Ridgewood, New York, with attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, and possession of a stolen vehicle.  The charges stem from a 2007 Connecticut home invasion.

The indictment alleges that, on approximately April 15, 2007, NICOLESCU and others attempted to extort $8.5 million from two victims while inside one of the victim’s Connecticut home.  During the course of the crime, it is alleged that NICOLESCU and others brandished knives and what appeared to be firearms, bound the hands of the victims and blindfolded their eyes, and injected the victims with what was alleged to be a deadly virus and then refused to provide an antidote until the money was turned over.  It is further alleged that NICOLESCU later possessed a stolen Jeep Cherokee.

If convicted of the charges, NICOLESCU faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 50 years.

NICOLESCU has been detained in federal custody since his arrest by the FBI in Illinois on January 23, 2011.  The indictment was returned on February 2, 2011, and was unsealed today during NICOLESCU’s arraignment in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.  NICOLESCU entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and is detained pending trial.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Fein commended the substantial efforts and cooperation of the several agencies involved in this nearly four-year investigation, including the Connecticut State Police; the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Connecticut, New York City, and Chicago; and the New York City Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Fein also acknowledged the critical assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois and particularly that of Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Grohman, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and particularly that of Assistant U.S. Attorney Hilary Jager.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David E. Novick.




Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722





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