A California man who allegedly tried to extort millions of dollars from a West Virginia coal billionaire is scheduled to make a plea in federal court next month.   

Vivek Shah claimed to have connections with Hollywood’s elite. He poses here with Tom Cruise.

Vivek Shah is expected to plead guilty in the $100 million extortion plot on May 9 in Beckley federal court.

Shah, once an aspiring actor, is accused of threatening to kill specific family members of Christopher Cline, a coal billionaire who has a home in Raleigh County, if Cline did not wire $13 million to an offshore bank account.

In addition to Cline, Shah allegedly tried to extort money from four others including Harvey Weinstein, a movie mogul, and Groupon Co-Founder Eric Lefkofsky. Federal investigators claim he wanted them to send millions of dollars to bank accounts in Cyprus, Mauritius, Malta and Antigua.

Shah is scheduled to appear for a pretrial motions hearing Tuesday afternoon in Beckley.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • NorthCentral WV Lady

    well - for one thing that picture doesn't look a thing like Tom Cruise !!!!

  • Brandon

    I would like to point out that unless Tom Cruise is standing on a box in that picture, then Vivek Shah is really short!