- The Washington Times - Friday, June 12, 2009

LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) - A 49-year-old former model and auto glass saleswoman who is accused of trying to extort cash, cars and a house from Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino says she has been set up.

Karen Cunagin (KOON-uh-gehn) Sypher (SEYE-fer) has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to extort Pitino and of lying to the FBI. If convicted on both counts, she could spend seven years in prison.

She is free while awaiting her trial, scheduled to begin later this month, though her attorney has asked for a postponement.

Cunagin Sypher tells The Associated Press she is frightened but she wants to show her children that the justice system works.

Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, says the notion that she has been set up is absolutely ridiculous.


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