Bizarre Lawsuit: Local Owners of Liberian Mineral Company Sue FLA Woman for Extortion

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The owners of this Liberian company say a Florida woman is wreaking havoc on their business.
  • The owners of this Liberian company say a Florida woman is wreaking havoc on their business.
A pair of St. Charles men who own a mineral company in Liberia are suing a Florida woman for allegedly extorting them, impersonating them, falsely accusing them of crimes, and generally acting crazy.

According to the complaint filed in federal court last night, Corey Tolle and Cris Cristea -- owners/operators of Charis Minerals, Inc. -- were introduced to an Ocala, Florida, woman named Bettina Milner-Spencer Sands last September. She claimed to be a major investor and know all kinds of important people in Liberia, so they "engaged" with her to be a consultant.

It "became quickly apparent" that Sands was a fraud, they write, so they cut off communication with her in April.

She then allegedly did the following:

  • E-mailed a bunch of the company's friends and investors, announcing a new non-profit called New World Partners that would give humanitarian aid to Liberia -- with Charis as the underwriter (which wasn't true)
  • Claimed to be in contact with a Liberian reporter named "Jerry Anderson" who threatened to issue a press release denouncing the St. Charles residents for various crimes; in one e-mail he wrote:
"Our full data will go to the key newspapers in Liberia. I urge you to settle with Bettina immediately, or face the full press. We have no need for further communication. Jerry."
Whoa, hardball! Daily RFT is willing to wager "Jerry Anderson" does not exist. (This whole thing sounds awfully similar to a 419 scam...)

Tolle and Cristea have retained Christopher Hohn of Thompson Coburn as counsel. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

No attorney has entered an appearance on behalf of Sands.

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