Rich Square couple charged in extortion case

Published 1:24 pm Sunday, October 11, 2009

RICH SQUARE – A local couple is facing felony charges after allegedly extorting more than $100,000 from an elderly Rich Square woman.

On Friday night, an investigation by the Rich Square Police Department, with the help of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, yielded the arrests of Mary and Charlie King of the Bryantown community near Rich Square.

According to Rich Square Police Lt. Kevin Byrd, Mary King was charged with two counts of felony extortion and one count of larceny by employee. Meanwhile, her husband, Charlie King was charged with two counts of felony conspiracy.

Byrd said the charges stem from the couple allegedly extorting $117,000 from an 83-year-old woman in Rich Square over an approximate two-year period.

Mary King worked as an assistant in the victim’s home, according to Byrd.

“She would go by her (the victim’s) home and take her to the doctor and clean up (the house),” he said.

Somewhere along the way, Mrs. King’s actions allegedly became sinister.

Byrd said Mrs. King would give the victim blank checks and told the victim if she did not fill them out, King “would stop coming around the house and she (the victim) would die alone.”

The ruse was reported after an individual, who has power of attorney of the victim’s finances, noticed a large amount of money missing.

Byrd said the investigation began in May and in July, Northampton Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant on the King’s home. During that search, Byrd said, evidence was found that eventually led to the couple’s arrests.

The Kings were placed in the Northampton County Jail, Mary King on a $20,000 bond and Charlie King on a $10,000 bond. Both have since been released on bail and will have their first court appearance on Monday.

Byrd thanked the NCSO for their assistance on the case.