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US cons attempt copyright-based prison break

FBI thwarts audacious criminal masterplan

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Four inmates of Oklahoma's El Reno federal prison were yesterday indicted for what must rate as the most audicious prison break scheme in history, the Washington Post reports.

Clayton Heath Albers, Carl Ervin Batts, Barry Dean Bischof and Russell Dean Landers are alleged to have copyrighted their names then "demanded millions of dollars from prison officials for using the names without authorisation".

Specifically, the four "sent demand notices for payment to the warden of the...prison and filed liens against his property". They then hired someone to "seize his vehicles, freeze his bank accounts, and change the locks on his house".

Believing this had been done, the quartet of master criminals told the warden he wouldn't get his property back unless they were released. Sadly, they didn't know the guy they'd hired was an undercover FBI agent, and they now face a possible six (more) years in prison and a $250,000 fine on a "conspiring to impede the duties of federal prison officials" rap, plus up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on a charge of "mailing threatening communications with the intent to extort".

A fifth member of the gang, William Michael Roberson, was also indicted on both charges. His role in the affair is not noted. ®

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