John Stamos is the latest celebrity to be the target of an extortion attempt, TVGuide.com has confirmed.
Stamos, 46, alleges he was blackmailed for $680,000 by a man and woman claiming they had threatening photos of the former Full House star, according to an affidavit obtained by TheSmokingGun.com. The site also reports that the two suspects in the case, Allison Coss, 23, and Scott Sippola, 30, were arrested Dec. 2.
"John Stamos was the target of an extortion attempt. The U.S. Attorney and the FBI handled the investigation swiftly and with great expertise," Stamos' spokesman, Matt Polk, said in a statement. "Since this is a pending federal criminal prosecution, John is not at liberty to discuss the matter at this time."
Stamos knew Coss dating back to 2004, when the two met while Stamos was vacationing in Florida that year, according to the affidavit. The actor — identified in the court document as Mr. X — attended a party with a woman he knew as "Qynn" and says there were photos taken of him at that party. Since the party, according to the affidavit, Stamos had maintained contact with Coss via e-mail.
Stamos first contacted the FBI via his attorney at the end of November after having received a number of e-mails from a man named "Brian L" earlier that month, according to the affidavit. The man claimed to have discovered pictures of Stamos taken from the 2004 party. The document alleges that the man said the photos in question would "cause harm" to the actors' reputation and threatened to release the photos to the media if Stamos did not pay him $680,000.
Coss and Sippola were then arrested Dec. 2 at a money drop set up by an FBI agent posing as a representative for Stamos, according to the court document. The affidavit says that later that same day, FBI agents searched Coss' home and found three of the photos Stamos had received e-mails about, a piece of paper with the names of phone numbers of tabloid magazines and a piece of paper with Stamos' personal cell phone number.
Although the alleged extortion plot never came to fruition, the photos the suspects were allegedly using to try to extort Stamos will still be released some time in the future. "The photos in question are photos of John posing with fans," Polk said in a statement. "At the conclusion of the investigation and hearing, the photos will be available and the public will be able to see that the photos are simply John posing with fans."
Following their arrest, Coss and Sippola were released on bond Dec. 2 and ordered to have no contact with Stamos, The Smoking Gun reports.