DOCUMENT: Sports, Crime

Giants Coach Extortion Bust

FBI: Philadelphia man targeted Tom Coughlin with phony sex claims

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Giants Coach Extortion Bust

AUGUST 14--A Philadelphia man sought to extort money from New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin by claiming that he would expose details of extramarital affairs purportedly engaged in by the head of the reigning Super Bowl champions.

According to federal investigators, Herbert Simpson recently sent Coughlin a pair of letters that were supposedly written by two women seeking the payoff in exchange for their silence about the affairs, which supposedly occurred while the Giants visited Philadelphia last December for a game against the Eagles.

An FBI affidavit, a copy of which you'll find here, notes that when investigators contacted the two women--who are only identified by their initials--they denied knowing or having any contact with Coughlin. But both women identified the handwriting in the extortion letters as that of the 30-year-old Simpson, 'a former co-worker who had previously written threatening letters.'

In an FBI interview, Simpson confessed to sending the letters, saying they were a bid for 'revenge' against the two women in connection with 'work-related issues.' Though one letter threatened to make Coughlin's life 'a living hell by doing something to [his] family,' Simpson told FBI Agent Todd Berry that he never intended to harm the 61-year-old coach or his family.

Simpson was charged with a felony count of mailing threatening communications and, if convicted, could face up to two years in prison. (3 pages)