“Everywhere you look” is a person trying to make a quick buck. And that’s no exception in the recent criminal case involving John Stamos, the actor who played the beloved Uncle Jesse on the popular ‘90s TGIF show “Full House.”
Scott Edward Sippola and Allison Lenore Coss, Michigan residents, were convicted on July 17 for allegedly trying to extort money from Stamos, reports CNN. The couple claimed to have photographs of Stamos nude and doing cocaine while surrounded by strippers, taken on the week he split from his wife.
They also claimed that Stamos and Coss had formed a romantic relationship that started when she was seventeen, which resulted in a pregnancy.
Stamos admitted to an e-mail exchange with Coss, which he characterized as fun, and even flirty, but says that he never considered her more than a friend. These e-mails continued until Coss asked for $680,000, in exchange for which she would not give the photographs of Stamos’ alleged inappropriate behavior to the tabloids.
At this point, Stamos said he felt “threatened and violated” and contacted the authorities, who took over the electronic correspondence. Their involvement culminated in a sting operation at Coss’s and Sippola’s home, in which FBI agents tricked Sippola and Coss into believing that one of Stamos’ representatives was going to fly to Michigan with a bag of cash. No photos were ever recovered.
Sippola and Coss were charged with conspiracy and two counts of extortion. Their defense attorneys attempted to smear Stamos’ reputation, as well as that of the FBI. Stamos, however, insisted that the “slanderous allegations were … part of their defense to redirect attention away from the federal crime of extortion,” and that “nothing sexual in nature” occurred.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat called it a “get-rich-quick-scheme” and doubted that Shakespeare could have even dreamed up something like this.
Stamos sat in the front row of the courthouse throughout the trial, awaiting the verdict. The jurors deliberated for about five hours in the Marquette, Michigan, courthouse. Their decision: guilty on all counts. Coss and Sippola could face up to nine years in jail for the offense: five for the conspiracy charge and two for each charge of extortion.
Sentencing is set for October eighth.