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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Thursday, February 25, 2016

West Seneca Man Sentenced On Extortion Charge

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Thi Nguyen, 40, of West Seneca, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to collect extension of credit by extortion, was sentenced to 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. 

  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan T. Cullinane, who handled the case, stated that a individual placed bets on NFL football games with Nguyen and other individuals during the 2012 season. On May 7, 2013, the defendant, and co-defendant Eric Battistoni, told the individual his outstanding debt of $24,000 needed to be settled. On May 15, 2013, at a pre-arranged meeting, it was determined the individual would make $300 payments every Friday until the debt was settled. Battistoni also threatened violence if a payment was not made.

  Nguyen and Battistoni were arrested on May 31, 2013. During the execution of a search warrant at Nguyen’s residence, officers seized numerous ledgers used in the defendant’s bookmaking activities. 

 Battistoni was convicted and will be sentenced on May 11, 2016.

  The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen.

Updated February 26, 2016