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January trial date set for California actor accused in extortion plot

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A California actor accused in a West Virginia extortion plot is set for a Jan. 7 trial in Beckley.

Federal prosecutors allege Vivek Shah, 25, of West Hollywood, sent Christopher Cline, the majority owner of Foresight Reserves LP, a letter threatening to kill named relatives unless he wired $13 million to an offshore bank account.

Shah appeared in federal court in Beckley Nov. 6, where he entered a not guilty plea to a superseding indictment.

Files in this case have been sealed.

According to a previous story in The State Journal, the indictment specifically charged Shah with two counts of interference with commerce by threats and two counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce.

The criminal complaint also mentioned four other similarly worded extortion letters that were sent to others across the U.S.

According to news reports, Shah is an actor who has had bit parts in movies and in the television series "Bones."

IMDB.com states Shah was born in Akron, Ohio. He lived in the U.S. for the first six years of his life. After that, his family moved to India. After spending 10 years in India, Shah moved back to the U.S. along with his family.

IMDB.com lists his roles as, among others, a maitre d' in the 2010 movie "A Family Wedding" and an uncredited role as "Middle Eastern bank hostage" in 2008's "The Dark Knight."