Businessman charged with extortion

Threatened to harm contractor’s family if not paid money, report says

February 08, 2014 at 8:49 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Businessman charged with extortion
A Gonzales businessman was arrested last week and charged with extortion after police say he called a Destrehan contractor 23 times and threatened to harm the man’s family.

The incident began on Nov. 16 when the contractor answered a call from an unknown number. The caller reportedly said,

“You are going to pay me my fu***** money or I am going to get your wife and kids.”

The contractor asked who was calling and what he owed money for, but the caller refused to identify himself.

Later that day, the mysterious man called again. According to the contractor, the man said he was going to harm the contractor’s wife and daughters.

The contractor continued to receive calls from the same number, but quit answering his phone. On Nov. 18, he contacted police. While deputies were taking the contractor’s statement, they say the man called again and deputies could hear the caller breathing loudly and laughing on speakerphone.

Over the next few days, the contractor began to receive text messages from the same number. The text messages mentioned the contractor’s family and asked the contractor what size shoe he wore so he could fit into concrete boots, according to the police report.

St. Charles Parish deputies traced the number to a prepaid phone that was activated on Nov. 15, the day before the contractor received the first call. According to the report, 23 of the 25 calls made from the number were to the Destrehan contractor.

Police say they used GPS tracking to trace the phone to an address in Gonzales where Michael D’Luca, 27, lived.

Investigators got a search warrant for the address and found the phone they believe was used to call the contractor in D’Luca’s car.

According to police, D’Luca is part owner of Crescent City Elevations and the alleged victim is currently suing CCE for nonpayment.

D’Luca told police that the Destrehan contractor’s company owes him commission for helping the Destrehan firm land elevation jobs.

The contractor said he does not owe D’Luca any money.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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