A New York police sting has led to the arrest of two New Jersey men who allegedly attempted to extort $1 million from Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony in exchange for their June 2004 wedding video.
Tito Moses, 31, and Steven Wortman, 40, were arrested in New York City on Tuesday after weeks of negotiation with the star’s lawyers – and ultimately meeting with cops posing as associates of Anthony’s. The two have been charged with conspiracy, attempted grand larceny and possession of stolen property, reports the New York Post, which also says that Moses has past convictions of manslaughter, theft and weapons possession.
“They were shocked because they thought they were coming for their payday – and instead, they got the surprise of their lives,” Major Case Squad Inspector Michael Hines tells the paper.
Hines added that “Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez are completely thrilled” that they once again have their wedding video.
The tape of the couple’s marriage ceremony was on Anthony’s laptop computer, which was stolen along with the singer’s Cadillac while he was shooting a music video in New Jersey on Oct. 30. The car was later found, though the computer remained missing.
After the theft, TV’s Access Hollywood received a phone call from Moses, offering the video in exchange for a high price, according to police. After the show and other media outlets reportedly turned down Moses and Wortman’s offer, Moses contacted Anthony’s production company, where a NYPD detective began negotiations, the Post reports.
Assistant DA Jordan Arnold told the paper that the duo “essentially held (the tape) for ransom” and “threatened to destroy” it unless their financial demands were met.