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Betsy C. Jividen

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist


March 30, 2010

Grafton Resident Sentenced for Extortion and Wire Fraud

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — A 54 year old Grafton, West Virginia, resident was sentenced on March 29, 2010, in United States District Court in Clarksburg by Judge Irene M. Keeley.

Acting United States Attorney Betsy C. Jividen announced that ERIC WAYNE ZUSPAN was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment to be followed by three years supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $33,735.00. ZUSPAN entered a plea of guilty on September 21, 2009, to one count of an Indictment charging ZUSPAN with conspiring with Teri Elaine Trickett to commit extortion and wire fraud beginning on March 23, 2009, and continuing through May 7, 2009, in Fairmont. It was part of the conspiracy for ZUSPAN and Trickett, a married couple, to extort money from a woman in their care (hereinafter referred to as the “victim”) by convincing the victim that Trickett, the victim’s primary care giver, had been kidnaped and that the purported kidnappers were demanding $20,000 in ransom money; and further that ZUSPAN and Trickett attempted to convince the victim that the kidnappers were connected to the alleged murder of the victims’ father. ZUSPAN, who was previously convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, also entered a plea of guilty to knowingly possessing a firearm and ammunition on June 19, 2009, which had been shipped in interstate commerce.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew R. Cogar. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.

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