U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
(216) 622-3600
May 20, 2015

Middleburg Heights Man Charged with Extortion and Making Threats

A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging David Z. Zehnder, 45, of Middleburg Heights, with extortion and use of an electronic communication to threaten harm to a victim known to the grand jury, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The indictment alleges that Zehnder extorted and attempted to extort money from the victim by threat of violence.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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