Police charge man with attempted extortion

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James Maher

NAUGATUCK — A borough man who is serving prison time was charged with trying to extort $200,000 from a local company.

James Maher, 49, was charged last month after employees of a Sheridan Drive company received a binder with work orders and other material, along with a letter that was allegedly from Maher. In the letter, the author threatened to expose the company’s business practices using information contained on computer hard drives and pictures, according to police.

The letter alleged the company had processes that were a “health risk” to the public. The author also alluded to knowing the secret identity of a person who wrote a sex-related blog.

Maher, of 33 Sheridan Drive, was charged on Feb. 7 with criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny. Court records show Maher was sentenced to eight years in prison on Feb. 10 based on an investigation by police in Milford. That sentence stemmed from convictions in 2019 for first-degree sexual assault and illegal sexual contact.

Maher was charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny in connection with the alleged extortion and was due to appear in Waterbury Superior Court again Monday.