Manatee man charged with extorting church employee

HERALD STAFF REPORTFebruary 28, 2014 


MANATEE -- A 45-year-old Manatee County man has been charged with extorting a church employee.

Carl Michael Wright threatened to take a picture to the victim's work place, which is a church, and get him fired if he didn't give him $300, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

The report states that in July 2010, Wright took a picture of the victim and another man in a shower.

Wright went to prison after the picture was taken on an unrelated incident, according to the report.

When Wright got out of prison he called the victim and threatened the show the picture to the victim's church, the report states.

The victim has worked at the unidentified church for almost 30 years and will soon retire, the report states.

The victim told authorities that he gave Wright $300 to avoid problems but that soon after, Wright began asking for more money and making the same threats.

The victim finally went to the sheriff's office.

When Wright was interviewed by detectives, he said the reason that he demanded money from the victim is that the victim owed him some money.

On Thursday, a different detective went to the Manatee County jail where Wright is incarcerated on another charge and interviewed him.

When the detective explained to Wright that his actions constituted extortion and was a felony, he no longer wanted to talk, the report concludes.

Wright remained in custody Friday subject to a $7,500 bond for the extortion charge, according to the sheriff's office website.

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