- Associated Press - Thursday, July 15, 2010

MARQUETTE, MICH. (AP) - A Michigan couple lied about having photos of actor John Stamos with cocaine and strippers and tried to bilk the former “Full House” star out of $680,000, a prosecutor said Thursday during closing arguments at the couple’s conspiracy trial.

Allison Coss and Scott Sippola tried to use her personal relationship with Stamos to get rich, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat told jurors in federal court in Marquette before they began deliberating.

“I don’t think Shakespeare could write a story to set up a fake blackmail scheme to set up a real blackmail scheme. But that is exactly what they did,” Vermaat told the jury.

“This is completely 100 percent made up,” he said of the “get-rich-quick scheme.”

Coss, 24, and Sippola, 31, are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion and other crimes. If convicted, they each could be sentenced to up to five years in prison

Coss testified that a week before the FBI raided the home she and Sippola shared, she had at least one embarrassing photo of the former “ER” star with cocaine in a Florida hotel room in 2004. But the FBI says there were no pictures.

As Stamos watched and listened from the front row, defense lawyer Sarah Henderson said Coss and Sippola were “in over their heads” but didn’t commit a crime.

“What happens to the pictures? I don’t know the answer to that. I wish I did,” Henderson told the jury, adding that it would be a “stretch” to believe Coss and Sippola would craft a scheme but have nothing to sell to Stamos or the tabloids.

There is no dispute that Stamos met Coss in Orlando, Fla., in 2004 when she was 17 and he was just separated from his supermodel wife, Rebecca Romijn.

Stamos, 46, said he did not use cocaine or act inappropriately six years ago. He said Coss sent him e-mails last year saying a man was harassing her about having incriminating photos of the pair.

“I’ll bust him up. … We didn’t take any bad pics. I’m too smart,” Stamos replied in an e-mail.

The government says the demand for $680,000 was written by Sippola under the name “Brian L.” Stamos‘ lawyer contacted the FBI, which set up a sting last December and arrested Coss and Sippola at an Upper Peninsula airport.

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