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Man Pleads Guilty to Extortion Attempt on Heisman Winner

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Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- A man in Waco, Texas, pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme to extort $1 million from Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, U.S. prosecutors said.

Richard Khamir Hurd, 26, contacted one of Griffin’s agents and demanded $1 million from the Washington Redskins quarterback, according to a statement issued today by the Justice Department. Hurd threatened to give the media information that he claimed would “severely damage” Griffin’s reputation unless he was paid, according to the statement.

“During negotiations with Griffin’s agent conducted at the direction of the FBI, Hurd agreed to accept a lesser sum of $120,000 in exchange for the information and signing a non-disclosure agreement,” prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman in San Antonio said in the statement.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Hurd on June 22, after he collected the check and signed the agreement at a Waco law office, prosecutors said. Hurd, who is currently on bond, faces as long as five years in federal prison when he is sentenced in November on charges of receiving extortion proceeds and interstate communication of a threat to injure the property or reputation of another person.

Griffin, 22, won the Heisman at Baylor University last season as college football’s best player.

Russell Hunt Sr., Hurd’s court-appointed attorney, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the guilty plea. Griffin’s agent, Ben Dogra, didn’t immediately return a voice message left at his office.

The case is U.S. v Hurd, 6:12-mj-00154, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (Waco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurel Brubaker Calkins in Houston at laurel@calkins.us.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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