Northern Michigan resort owner faces extortion charge - WNEM TV 5

Northern Michigan resort owner faces extortion charge

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Authorities say a northern Michigan resort owner threatened to run a parasailing company out of business if he wasn't paid thousands of dollars.

Bryan Punturo of Williamsburg was arraigned Tuesday on an extortion charge in District Court in Traverse City. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Saburi Boyer says he was forced to pay about $35,000 to avoid the threats. He tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle that Punturo threatened to make his life a "living hell."

Defense attorney Jonathan Moothart says the case has no merit.

An investigation began after a lawyer for Boyer contacted the state attorney general's office in August. There are similar allegations in a civil lawsuit pending in Circuit Court.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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