By David N. Goodman, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — A clerical worker tried to squeeze $100,000 out of a rich Detroit-area businessman by threatening to give his wife damaging information about their relationship, according to an FBI affidavit.
FBI agents watched as the woman accepted an envelope with $4,800 from the unidentified man outside the Rochester real estate office where she worked, FBI agent Marc Silski said in a statement that was part of the complaint against Mirela Dzioba. The 33-year-old resident of Macomb County’s Macomb Township was charged last Friday with using a phone in racketeering. She was released on a $10,000 personal bond.
The Associated Press left phone and email messages Thursday seeking comment from federal public defender Leroy Soles. Dzioba has no listed phone number.
Dzioba was a clerical worker at worked at Real Living Kee Realty, and the cash handoff happened Sept. 3 in the business’s parking, the FBI said. It said she also went by the name Mirella Saric-Dzioba. She was fired after the charges became known, said company official John Meesseman.
“We’re extremely shocked,” said Meesseman.
According to the government, Dzioba met the businessman at a commercial real estate closing in July. It says she asked him to meet her for a drink later and he agreed. The meeting took place at a restaurant in Rochester, the complaint said.
“At the meeting … Dzioba explained to the victim that she enjoyed ‘strong’ men speaking to her in a sexual manner and encouraged the victim to do so while in the restaurant,” Silski wrote. “The victim was also encouraged by Dzioba to subsequently leave several similar voicemail messages.”
Silski said the two met at a second restaurant and “she inquired about the extent of the victim’s wealth.” He said she also told him at one of the meetings “that at some future time she will ask for money to help her, or for charity.”
Dzioba later sent text messages to the man as well as “what could be fairly described as suggestive photographs” of herself, the FBI agent wrote.
She asked him for money, and he gave her a total of $1,400 for a computer and a class, the victim told the FBI.
Dzioba later pushed for more money and when he didn’t respond, texted him July 25 saying: “Oh forget it. Seriously I’m done. Maybe I should call her,” a reference the man interpreted as a threat to tell his wife. The government did not say if there was any sexual contact between Dzioba and the businessman.
She followed with a demand for $250,000, later reduced to $100,000, Silski said. He said the man’s lawyer wrote her a letter telling her to stop her “extortionist” and “criminal” behavior, but the threats to expose him continued. The man then went to the FBI, which began working with him to develop the case.
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