Mount Carmel woman charged with extortion
MOUNT CARMEL - A borough woman who said she was a victim of a crime has been charged after trying to extort money from the alleged perpetrator.
Mount Carmel Borough Police charged Shannon B. McGinley, 18, of 129 W. Third St., with theft by extortion and criminal attempt to commit extortion Dec. 19 following an investigation into an incident involving her and Michael VanBourgondien.
Police said McGinley tried to extort $100 from VanBourgondien in exchange for dropping charges filed against him.
Court documents filed by Mount Carmel Borough Police Patrolman Justin Stelma said the incident began Sept. 11, when McGinley accused VanBourgondien of a crime and called police. Borough Police Chief Todd Owens said the incident is still under investigation.
On Oct. 3, VanBourgondien told police he received text messages from McGinley, stating she would have the charges dropped if he gave her $100.
According to a Sept. 15 text message, McGinley allegedly wrote "I'll have the doc written up and we'll exchange, you give me the money and I'll give you the doc saying I'm dropping everything." In another she writes, "I want $100 and I'll drop the case and give you it in writing that I'll drop it."
On Sept. 20, the messages started getting more threatening, police said. McGinley allegedly wrote, "You're such a liar, you really must not value your freedom..." She wrote later in the day, "You've p***ed me off, I missed out on OCMD (Ocean City), for what, you to play your lil games. Well, have fun playing them games in state, see how far they'll get you."
The next day, McGinley told VanBourgondien that she was "tight" with the guy who decides which jail he would go to after going through the Diagnostic and Classification Center in Camp Hill, and that she would make sure VanBourgondien was sent same prison as her brother.
On Sept. 22, McGinley sent a text to VanBourgondien that said, "My boys coming down your house." VanBourgondien told police he was afraid someone might assault him and that he was staying out of town.
A preliminary hearing for McGinley will be held before Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones, of Mount Carmel, Wednesday, Jan. 22.