Sypher Charged In Pitino Extortion Attempt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An equipment manager's estranged wife was
charged with trying to extort Louisville men's basketball coach
Rick Pitino, at first demanding cars and tuition for her children,
then later asking for $10 million, according a federal complaint
filed Friday.
Karen Sypher (SY'-fer) also is accused of lying to the FBI. She
appeared in court but did not enter a plea and was released on her
own recognizance.
Sypher's husband, Tim Sypher, brought Pitino a written list of
demands including tuition, two cars of her choice, her house paid
off and $3,000 per month, according to the complaint. Those were
replaced with the $10 million demand, the complaint said.
It wasn't clear why she was demanding the money. Court documents
say only that Pitino believed it was related to an encounter in
The charges came less than a week after Pitino said he filed a
complaint with the FBI last month claiming he was the victim of an
attempted extortion.
Tim Sypher, a longtime aide to Pitino, voiced his support for
his boss, while Karen Sypher gave interviews to some media outlets
against the advice of her attorney, saying she just wanted to air
her side of the story.
Her attorney, Thomas Clay, appeared with her at the courthouse
Pitino's attorney, Steve Pence, released a statement and said he
has directed the coach to have no further comment on the case.
"While Coach Pitino takes no comfort in this prosecution and
remains astonished by these events, it marks a turning point that
allows him to focus with a clear mind once again on his family and
his team," said Pence.

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