Judge dismisses extortion charge against resort owner

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A judge has dismissed an extortion charge against a northern Michigan resort owner who was accused of threatening to run a parasailing company out of business if he wasn’t paid thousands of dollars.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle says Judge Thomas Phillips found that the allegations don’t fit the definition of extortion under Michigan law. The case against Bryan Punturo of Williamsburg was dismissed Thursday, although the attorney general’s office can appeal.

Saburi Boyer says he was forced to pay about $35,000 to Punturo. He’s said that Punturo threatened to make his life a “living hell.”

Punturo’s attorney says the case has no merit.

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