Guilty Plea Entered for Two East Liverpool Suspects in Extortion Case
In Federal Court Wednesday, two East Liverpool suspects involved in an unusual extortion case plead guilty.
More than one million dollars was stolen from Bethany College from 2011 to 2013. Jason and Rachaelle Weese admitted to blackmailing and threatening Shelly Lough, a former cashier at the college, for money. They admitted that they used fear and the threat of force in order to receive the money.
26 year old Rachaelle Weese pled guilty to one count of extortion and her husband, 31 year old Jason Weese, plead guilty to the same count as well as aiding and abetting money laundering.
The Weeses admitted to using the money purchase a 2013 Mitsubishi Sport Utility Vehicle, a 2013 Honda All-Terrain Vehicle, as well as large amounts of prescription drugs.
Lough exchanged sexually explicit images and messages with Jason Weese, which were used to get Lough to comply to the Weeses' demands. The Weeses threatened to show the messages to Lough's husband if she did not comply. When Lough lost her job at Bethany College and could no longer pay the Weeses, Jason Weese threatened to burn down her home.
Lough was convicted of embezzlement and falsification of accounts, admitting to the theft of $1,038,000.00 from Bethany.
Jason Weese faces up to 40 years in prison, and Rachaelle Weese faces up to 20 years. The two must also make full restitution to Bethany College.