The verdict is in for the Michigan couple who tried to con hundreds of thousands of dollars out of actor John Stamos: guilty.
The Associated Press reports that Allison Coss, 24, and Scott Sippola, 31, were found guilty of conspiracy and using e-mail to threaten a person's reputation. It is a charge that could land the couple in prison for up to five years.
Last fall, Coss and Sippola reportedly threatened to sell old photos of the former "Full House" and "ER" star with strippers and cocaine to the tabloids unless he paid them $680,000. Stamos received two e-mails from a "Jessica T," who claimed she was pregnant and that Stamos was the father, according to the prosecutor. Those were followed by several e-mails from a "Brian L" describing the allegedly compromising photos, which he said would be sold to tabloids if Stamos did not buy them for $680,000. Prosecutors have claimed that Coss and Sippola sent the e-mails, and though defense attorney Sarah Henderson acknowledged that Coss used the pseudonym "Jessica T," the lawyer dismissed the e-mails as a trick to test Stamos' reaction in hopes of determining whether he was preying on young girls.
Stamos and his lawyer have denied the actor's romantic involvement with Coss from the beginning. Stamos, who was not present to hear the verdict, arrived in time to hear the judge poll each juror. He was reportedly greeted by dozens of supportive fans upon exiting the federal courthouse. He reiterated the couple's false claims in a written statement to the AP, adding that he was "shocked and perplexed by Coss and Sippola's actions."
"These slanderous allegations to smear my reputation were part of their defense to redirect attention away from the federal crime of extortion," he said. "There was no hot tub, no drugs, no nudity and nothing sexual in nature involved in my friendship with this woman. They lied about everything."