Two Miami women are facing extortion charges after police say they threatened to sell information found on an entertainment company employee's cell phone to TMZ unless the owners paid them $3,000.
Sonia A. Brown, 35, and Chloe M. McQueen, 23, were arrested Tuesday after hatching a plot to extort True Entertainment, a TV production company that produces "The Real Housewives of Atlanta and other reality TV shows, according to Broward County Sheriff's Office arrest reports.
According to the reports, McQueen found the lost iPhone 4 Sunday at Mango's Cafe in Miami Beach and discovered secretive and sensitive business information while browsing through it.
McQueen and Brown called two numbers on the phone, including an executive at True Entertainment, and demanded $3,000 in exchange for returning the phone, the reports said.
They told the executive the phone contained valuable information and that if the payment wasn't made, the information would be sold to TMZ, the reports said.
The executive negotiated with McQueen and Brown and said she was willing to pay the money but needed time to collect it, the reports said. The police were contacted and started an investigation.
McQueen and Brown told the executive to meet them at Joe's Crab Shack at 4402 N. University Drive in Lauderhill, but when they showed up, they were arrested by the BSO, the reports said. It had previously been erroneously reported that the meeting was to take place at Joe’s Stone Crab. The actual location was Joe’s Crab Shack.
Authorities found the phone in McQueen's possession, the reports said.
Both women admitted their involvement to authorities but blamed each other for being the main culprit, the reports said. Both admitted to contacting the victim several times through phone calls and text messages to negotiate the terms of the extortion, the reports said.
Both McQueen and Brown were charged with extortion and McQueen was also charged with possession of stolen property. It was unknown whether they have attorneys.
An executive at True Entertainment who did not want her name used would not comment.
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