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United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
Press Release

March 23, 2011

STAMFORD MAN CHARGED WITH EXTORTION

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Robert Nivakoff, Chief of the Stamford Police Department, announced that NICOLA MELIA, also known as “Nick,” 78, of Brushwood Road, Stamford, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means.

According to the allegations set forth in the criminal complaint and statements made in court, MELIA made “street loans” to an individual in Fairfield County at high interest rates.  MELIA also threatened this individual that he/she would be subject to violence if these debts were not paid.

Following his arrest, MELIA appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and was detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for Monday, March 28.

If convicted of the charge, MELIA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.

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

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, which includes the Stamford Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Hal Chen, Peter Jongbloed and Ray Miller.

 

CONTACT:

 

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

 

 

 

 

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