Keifer Bonvillain (born c. 1970) was arrested in 2006 after he allegedly attempted to
extort$1.5 million from Oprah Winfrey.
Bonvillain was arrested on
December 15, 2006in Atlanta, GA. He was then released on $20,000 bond and scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Chicago on Monday 1/8/2007.
In mid-October he allegedly e-mailed Oprah, saying that an employee of hers had bad mouthed her.
In November, Bonvillain allegedly sent a letter, claiming that he had recordings of those conversations.
Bonvillain allegedly said that he wanted to publish a book based on the "shocking" and "newsworthy" tapes and that he had received offers of up to $3 million from tabloids and book publishers.
According to the AP report, Bonvillain agreed to a payment of $1.5 million for the tapes and was arrested when he arrived to receive the payment.
Apparently, the case involving Oprah was not the first time that Bonvillain was involved in a situation in which he recorded phone conversations. According to ALM Research (alacrastore.com), it was reported (Oct 13 2006) that Bonvillain was involved in another legal case in which he recorded conversations with "Roper and Thyne". The prosecutor in that case described him as a witness. The case was dropped, in part, because it was not possible to locate Bonvillain.
In a different story from the same site (Essex Judge Flip-Flops on Dismissing Contempt Charges Against Lawyers) the following quote was found::"Of the dozen counts remaining, seven pertained to an NAACP representative named Keifer Bonvillain. Roper and Thyne are accused of discussing the case with him and providing him copies of the embargoed agreements. Roper claims Bonvillain approached her out of the blue, purporting to be conducting an investigation on behalf of the NAACP into Leeds Morelli's mishandling of race discrimination cases. Unbeknownst to Roper and Thyne, Bonvillain recorded the conversations and turned the tapes over to Leeds Morelli. When Roper contacted the NAACP to inquire about Bonvillain, she was told he was acting outside his authority, she says. Leeds Morelli partner Jeffrey Brown did not return a call seeking comment but he told the Law Journal in June that Bonvillain is a former client. He denied sending Bonvillain to entrap Roper and Thyne but said Bonvillain informed him he planned to contact Roper and Thyne. Bonvillain is no longer reachable at his old telephone number and his former lawyer, David Sanford, of Sanford Wittels & Heisler in Washington, D.C., said in June he did not know his whereabouts."
* [http://www.actressarchives.com/news.php?id=3484 Man charged with trying to extort Oprah Winfrey]
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