Accountant Indicted On Extortion, Theft Charges

CLEVELAND (AP) - A Cleveland accountant accused of trying to blackmail a widow and of using bogus business deals to steal from investors was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday.

Paul Rendina, 49, was charged with 11 counts of extortion and eight counts of theft for activities dating to 1998.

Prosecutors said that Rendina tried to blackmail the family of Angelo Benedetti, the owner of a Cleveland construction firm who died in 1997. Prosecutors said that Rendina told Benedetti's widow, Margaret, he'd accuse her of insurance fraud unless she gave him 40 percent of the $7 million she received from her husband's life insurance policy.

Rendina also was accused of stealing more than $600,000 from four people who gave him money to invest.

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