New York (ANI): Reality TV star Danielle Staub of 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey" has been exposed to have a real criminal past. The court documents posted on TheSmokingGun.com reveals that Staub was involved in a kidnapping and extortion case, which also involved drugs, reports the New York Daily News.
Staub, who had then gone by the name of Beverly Ann Merrill, had placed calls to a kidnapped victim"s father and threatened to cause bodily harm to the hostage unless he came up with some money. The criminal complaint, dated June 24 1986 and filed in the U.S. District Court in Miami, also accused Staub of cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
As per the story revealed by the website, Merrill had been working with a distributor for a Colombian drug family named Daniel Aguilar. The partners in crime were out about 24,000 dollars worth of cocaine after a deal went awry. Trying to recoup their loss, they kidnapped the man they blamed for the deal"s failure, named in the complaint as Carmen Centolella.
Then Merill placed calls to Centolella"s father demanding 25,000 dollars in ransom money - or else. Feds traced the calls and then arrested the duo, who were caught red-handed in a Miami apartment with six kilos of coke and 16,000 dollars in cash.
She was indicted weeks later on eight felony counts, including extortion, cocaine possession, and narcotics conspiracy, and in order to receive a lenient sentence, she agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors and the FBI.
In November 1986, she was sentenced to five years probation, with her co-conspirator Aguliar getting 15 years in prison. Even though she has denied her drug use and past as a prostitute on the show, saying only that she was a former pothead, documents on TheSmokingGun.com would seem to contradict her.
Papers have Staub admitting to working for an escort service and being ordered to continue treatment for her severe “Drug history and drug lifestyle".