Man charged with extorting punk rocker

July 14, 2009 at 11:37 PM
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CHICAGO, July 14 (UPI) -- A man who allegedly claims to control hardcore punk music clubs and venues through violence has been arrested in Los Angeles, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Elgin Nathan James allegedly extorted $5,000 from a Chicago recording artist, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. He was arrested late Monday at his home on a criminal complaint filed Friday in Chicago.

James founded a street gang in Boston in the 1990s called FSU, which stands for Friends Stand United or alternate unprintable words, Fitzgerald said. The group's proclaimed aim was to drive "Nazi skinheads" away from the hardcore punk scene, the prosecutor said.

The unnamed victim of the alleged extortion was described as a well-known Chicago recording artist. In 2005, he became involved in a dispute with someone he later learned was a member of FSU and was subjected to a series of threats and physical assaults.

The victim eventually got in touch with the FBI, recorded phone calls with James and eventually made a $5,000 "donation" using money provided by agents, the complaint said.

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