Alleged Blackmailer of John Stamos Says FBI Destroyed Photos

Michigan man said he planned to sell embarrassing pictures of actor to tabloids

By Greg Wilson
|  Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010  |  Updated 11:01 AM EDT
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A Michigan man the feds say tried to blackmail actor John Stamos claimed in court that there was nothing illegal about his plan to sell embarrassing photos of the former "ER" and "Full House" star.

Scott Sippola is charged with conspiring to extort $680,000 from Stamos using the pictures, which the government says never existed, according to The Associated Press. But Sippola insisted in a Michigan court filing that the FBI lost or destroyed the photos, which he and co-defendant Allison Coss planned to peddle to magazines if Stamos didn't buy them.

Sippola's attorney offered the defense as a deadline for a plea bargain elapsed and the case headed for a July 12 trial.

Coss and Stamos have known each other since meeting in Florida in 2004.

Sippola said he had a legitimate deal on the table when the FBI lost or destroyed the valuable photos after nine agents searched his home last year. His attorney said without the photos, the case should be dismissed.

"Without the photographs, the government's case becomes much easier to prove and the defendant's defense much more difficult," Henderson wrote.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat said Sippola was raising a "standard defense in blackmail cases."

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