Prosecutors respond to Sypher appeal

March 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 8 (UPI) -- Prosecutors say a legal appeal by a woman convicted of trying to extort cash from University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino is unfounded.

Responding to Karen Cunagin Sypher's recent motion for a new trial, prosecutors called her repeated allegations of judicial bias and prosecutorial misconduct unfounded and false, the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Monday.

"Her falsehoods continue, with increasing desperation and recklessness in a series of post-trial motions," the response filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kuhn Jr. and Marisa Ford read. "Sypher and her 'Defense team' will go to any length, will create any fabrication, will hurl any baseless accusation, to avoid justice in this case."

Sypher was convicted in federal court in August on three counts of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliating against a witness.

She was sentenced in February to seven years and three months in prison for trying to extort cash, cars and a house from Pitino by threatening to bring rape accusations against him.

Sypher filed an appeal based partly on a claim her signature was "cut and pasted" on a form in which she consented to an interview and polygraph test by the FBI.

Prosecutors say Sypher signed the form electronically, which was then printed out on paper, not "cut and pasted."

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