WAUSAU (WAOW) - The second of two men who prosecutors say extorted about $100,000 from a 56-year-old central Wisconsin man who wanted to keep an affair secret has been convicted of two felonies.
As part of a plea bargain Wednesday, Alex Santiago, 30, of Wausau, pleaded no contest to extortion and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to online Marathon County Circuit Court records.
The deal includes a recommendation from prosecutors that Santiago avoid prison initially and he be placed on probation for five years with one year in jail and monthly restitution payments, online court records said.
Santiago is to be sentenced Aug. 25.
Dustin Congleton, 29, of Weston was convicted of the same two felonies and was sentenced a year ago to five years in prison and five years of extended supervision.
According to the criminal complaint filed in March 2013, the victim met a 32-year-old woman through a mutual friend, an exotic dancer at Showtime Gentlemen's Club in Wausau. The two met in late 2008 or early 2009, and the victim began paying some of the woman's bills, $300 to $500 at a time, in a relationship that lasted several months, the complaint says.
At some point, Santiago, the woman's boyfriend, moved to Wausau and threatened to tell the victim's wife about a sexual relationship the man had with the woman, court documents say.
The criminal complaint says the victim met with Santiago 20 to 30 times over four years, giving him cash, money orders or prepaid credit cards, before police got involved.
The complaint says Congleton, a friend of Santiago's, eventually contacted the victim and told him that he had information that would get Santiago "off your back forever." In the end, however, the victim paid nearly $2,500 to Congleton, the complaint says.
The complaint says Santiago told police he received up to $30,000 from the victim that he used to pay a mortgage, vehicle loan and other bills.