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Sypher Charged with Extortion, Lying

April 24th, 2009 by admin · 12 Comments

It’s Friday afternoon, so here’s your big story. (Check out the C-J link, with a photo of Sypher arriving at the courthouse.)

Karen Cypher arrived at the federal courthouse downtown about 3:00 today, where she was charged with extortion and lying to the FBI. The crimes carry potential penalties of two and five years in prison, and $250,000 fines for each count.

The FBI complaint charges that Sypher attempted to extort cash from Rick Pitino by threatening to harm his reputation over events that occurred in 2003. The lying charge in the complaint stems from Sypher telling agents that she didn’t know the identity of the person who made threatening phone calls to Pitino. The individuals making the threat weren’t identified in the complaint.

The complaint did not detail the nature of Sypher’s accusations. She’s been shopping her story around among media organizations, but none have made her claims public.

According to the FBI’s affidavit, she was demanding $10 million from Pitino at one point, and also submitted a list of demands for which she would “protect Rick Pitino’s name for life.”

If you weren’t sure whether or not Sypher was crazy, here’s her list of demands from the C-J story:

The affidavit goes on to say that Tim Sypher delivered to Pitino on March 6 a written list of demands from Karen Sypher calling for college tuition for her children, two cars of her choice, a house paid off, $3,000 cash per month and a lump-sum payment of $75,000 if Pitino leaves U of L.

She was released by the judge, but ordered not to talk about Pitino and her situation in the media. Her next court appearance is May 13.

Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, released the following statement:

“Last week, my client, Coach Rick Pitino, issued a statement disclosing that he had reported an extortion attempt against himself and his family to the FBI.  Today, the United States brought criminal charges against the perpetrator of this scheme.  While Coach Pitino takes no comfort in this prosecution and remains astonished by these events, it marks a turning point that allows him to focus with a clear mind once again on his family and his team.  Coach Pitino is grateful for the support so many people have shown him in recent days.  Given that this is a federal criminal prosecution in which we are cooperating, I have directed Coach Pitino not to comment any further about this case.  Any inquiries should be referred to the United States Attorney’s Office or to me.”

Tags: Crime · Legal · Sports · University of Louisville

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David // Apr 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    “Ding! Dong! The witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead!”…sang all the little munchkins!

  • 2 JasonL // Apr 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    woah…
    that’s some KERAAAAAAazy shiz…

  • 3 Carter Burger // Apr 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I’m taking bets on how long she can stay quiet. I give her a week.

    I give her credit, she has a nice rack.

  • 4 slim // Apr 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    The allegations against Pitino will now come out and his reputation will be permanently damaged. I predict he will leave the University over this which couldn’t be any more sad. It’s especially bad news with UL trying to sell season tickets for the new arena. You want to know the team will be good before you shell out big bucks, and with Pitino you could at least feel safe about that.

  • 5 Thunder Storm // Apr 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Why are people, who are going to court, ALWAYS holding hands with a spouse or someone else.

    Next thing you know, she will find God and say she has asked for His forgivness

  • 6 Crutnacker // Apr 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    I found out from my inside source at WDRB what the allegations are.

    Seems that when Pitino is really hungry late at night, he stops at White Castle and not Rally’s.

  • 7 Mark // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I heard that the criminal allegations revolve around a 2003 incident involving Ms. Sypher and a young male.

    My reliable sources tell me that a young male cook at Rally’s was stuck and seriously injured by a SUV being driven by Ms. Sypher. Sypher alleges that Coach Pitino had forced the employee to crab walk around the parking lot for stealing his line during a commercial taping and not “Being The Buford” in reckless regard for the victims welfare. Pitino had reportedly coerced Ms. Sypher to cover up the incident.

  • 8 king of cards // Apr 25, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Does anyone know what the allegations really are?

  • 9 Louisville Idiots // Apr 25, 2009 at 3:30 am

    No one really knows the specifics about this entire case. There have been rumors on top of rumors and then more. It is going to come out probably in the court case in the next court date or the official trial.

    So to sit around and pass judgment on everything is a bit of a moot point. Certain people in here are pretty much idiots Louisville style and it shows why this city is going backwards. These are some of your fine local citizens which is the breeding for the fools that run around here with their heads cut off like a chicken

  • 10 Carter Burger // Apr 25, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I expect this to be settled out of court. It would be in nobody’s best interest to see this go before a judge. If Ms Sypher is smart, she’ll listen to her attorney on this point and cop a plea. Maybe get a year probation with no jail time.

  • 11 Greg // Apr 27, 2009 at 9:45 am

    When you lie to the FBI, you can’t settle that out of court.

  • 12 Kurt // Apr 27, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    It’s clear from the FBI agent’s affidavit that there are no credible charges against Pitino. Sypher failed the FBI’s polygraph and told them three conflicting stories (making the perjury case a lock). The FBI clearly believe her claims are lies; they refused to even include them in the charging document. And Greg’s correct–the feds don’t like it when you lie to them and they don’t take a plea unless they get something. Sypher’s only prayer is if the U.S. attorney decides that her first lawyer–the guy who allegedly shuttled an extortion claim to Pitino–is a bigger fish and she agrees to plea to all charges and testify against him. She’ll still do time, but less time.

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