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Judge to sentence woman in Pitino extortion case

- Associated Press - Friday, February 18, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) - A federal judge is set to sentence the woman convicted of trying to extort millions in cash, cars and a house from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The sentencing hearing for Karen Cunagin Sypher is scheduled to begin Friday afternoon in Louisville before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III.

A jury convicted Sypher in August of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliation against a witness. Prosecutors say Sypher wanted Pitino to pay for her silence about a sexual encounter between the two at a Louisville restaurant in 2003.

Since being convicted, Sypher has changed attorneys and alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy theory involving the judge, prosecutors, her former attorneys and Pitino aimed at ensuring she would be found guilty.

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