Bellefontaine Examiner

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Alleged extortion suspect, victim face charges

MARYSVILLE — Two men at the center of an alleged extortion plot, one of which was the reported victim, have been indicted by a Union County Grand Jury.

Cloverdale Thomas

COVERDALE

Thomas Alexander Coverdale, 42, of Columbus, whose court-listed address is the Tri-County Regional Jail, is charged with seven counts of extortion and one count each of grand theft and possessing criminal tools.

The victim of the extortion alleged plot, Brian Kenneth Bury, 36, of 1115 Beechview Drive South, Worthington, was charged with 16 counts of forgery, four counts of tampering with evidence and two counts of grand theft.

Officials said between Dec. 1 and June 19, Bury served as a payroll clerk of Environmental Management Inc., Plain City, and allegedly “padded hours” for Coverdale, who reportedly convinced Bury to falsify his time sheets. Bury also is believed to have done the same for at least three other employees.

Coverdale then used the action to extort more money under the threat of exposing Bury’s actions to the company, according to officials, who estimate Coverdale received more than $10,000 from Bury.

If convicted on all charges, Bury could face as many as 23.5 years in prison. Coverdale faces 37.5 years and remains incarcerated at the Tri-County Regional Jail, with a $20,000 bond. Arraignment for both is Aug. 1.

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