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Former butler moves to dismiss extortion charges
Former butler moves to dismiss extortion charges day before trial starts in Connecticut
By The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) ' A former butler says charges that he attempted to extort $8.5 million from philanthropist Anne H. Bass should be dismissed because federal authorities lack jurisdiction.

Attorneys for Emanuel Nicolescu (nik-oh-LES'-kyoo) filed the motion Tuesday, a day before his trial starts in Connecticut.

Authorities say Nicolescu and at least two other men invaded Bass's house in Kent in 2007, injected Bass and a guest with what they claimed was a deadly virus and demanded cash in exchange for an antidote.

Authorities say the substance was harmless.

Nicolescu's attorneys say the law allows federal prosecution of robbery or extortion that interferes with interstate commerce. They say the crime lacks such an apparent link "other than the fact that one of the victims is extremely wealthy."

A message was left for prosecutors.

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