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article imageCBS producer indicted in Letterman extortion attempt

By Kay Mathews     Oct 2, 2009 in Entertainment
A producer for CBS's 48 Hours, Robert "Joe" Halderman, has been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney. Halderman is charged with attempted grand larceny resulting from an alleged extortion attempt.
The Associated Press reports that Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan District Attorney, announced the indictment Friday against Robert "Joe" Halderman. An "undercover sting operation" was used to apprehend Halderman.
D.A. Morgenthau was quoted in People as saying:
Halderman waited outside Letterman's Manhattan apartment Sept. 9 at 6 a.m. to give him a package and say that he needed a 'large chunk of money.' He was hoping to sell a 'screenplay treatment' and told Letterman that his life was about to collapse around him. The one-page treatment mentioned 'your beautiful loving son' and also referred to 'ruined reputation and severe damage to his professional and family lives.'
As previously reported, a man allegedly tried to extort $2 million from the talk show host. A "phoney" check was drafted and delivered to the man.
Letterman never met with the suspect, however, his attorney met three times with Halderman. "The suspect was arrested after he tried to cash a $2 million check the lawyer provided in Connecticut on Sept. 30." reports People.
People refers to a search warrant obtained by Fox 5 New York, which discusses Letterman's former assistant Stephanie Birkitt.
As noted in People, the warrant indicates Birkitt was Halderman's girlfriend. Moreover, "the warrant says that the package Halderman sent Letterman – who married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko in March – contained copies of parts of a diary and correspondence belonging to Birkitt."
Halderman, a 48 Hours producer, had been charged with attempted grand larceny between the period of Sept. 9 and Sept. 30 and his arraignment is scheduled at 2:15 p.m. on Friday.
Update: The AP reports that Halderman entered a "not guilty" plea to the attempted grand larceny charge against him. His "bail has been set at $200,000" according to the AP.
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