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Seagal's Ex-Partner to Plead Guilty

08/08/2003 1:55PM

It has all the makings of a Steven Seagal movie: mobsters, a wiretap by the feds, extortion and a plot to infiltrate the film industry.

But this is real life, and on Wednesday, Julius Nasso, a former manager of Seagal, reached a tentative agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to charges of attempting to blackmail the action star, reports AFP.

The terms of the plea bargain, which is still subject to approval by the U.S. Attorney's Office, were not publicly revealed, but Nasso is expected to enter his guilty plea in court next Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Seagal, 50, a martial arts trainer turned actor, was the target of a Gambino crime family plot to siphon money from the film industry, reports the Associated Press. The actor was targeted for blackmail after a falling out with his manager Nasso, who is purportedly a Gambino associate.

The prosecutors obtained wiretaps of Nasso being instructed to demand money from Seagal, says AP.

Seagal, who was a reluctant witness in the racketeering trials of several Gambino family associates in February, told the court that Nasso demanded $3 million from him following their professional split, reports AFP. When Seagal refused his request, he says that Nasso turned to Gambino muscle for help in obtaining payment.

Seagal's lawyer, Martin Pollner, told AP that his client was pleased by the news of Nasso's upcoming guilty plea.

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