BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A North Miami Beach attorney is facing charges that he allegedly extorted an NFL player in a high-profile case involving an armed robbery in Miramar last May.
William Dean was investigated by members of the Broward’s Sheriff’s Office Public Corruption Unit beginning in August, according to BSO after information that Dean was attempting to extort former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker emerged.
The attorney was representing three of Baker’s alleged victims. According to investigators, Dean wanted Baker to pay each of his clients more than $266,000, and, in exchange, the victims in the case would either stop cooperating with prosecutors in the criminal case or change their initial sworn statements to police, thereby weakening the case against Baker.
Evidence in the case reveals that Dean told Baker’s attorney that his clients would do “anything you want, so long as the money is right.” Dean was arrested Monday morning.
Subsequent to Dean’s charges, the Broward State Attorney’s Office announced on Monday that all charges were being dropped against Baker. Baker had been charged in August with four counts of robbery with a firearm.
Baker, a cornerback for the New York Giants who was released this summer from the team, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, faced charges in an alleged $71,000 robbery during a party that involved gambling in Broward County. Broward prosecutors had not filed criminal charges against Dunbar due to insufficient evidence.
According to the Miramar Police Department, Baker, 22, and a man known as “Shy” flipped over a game table and pulled out firearms during a party in May. Witnesses said Dunbar, 27, and two others rushed to steal from their victims, police said.
One of the victims told police officers that he had met Baker and Dunbar during a party in Miami where the two NFL players had “lost about $70,000,” according to an arrest warrant.
On Friday, ESPN’S Jordan Raanan reported that three of the four men who claimed that the former New York Giants cornerback robbed them recanted their testimony.
According to Raanan, Julius Lamar, Steven Compton and Tommy J. Hartshaw said in sworn statements that Baker “did not directly or indirectly participate in any robbery or assist in a robbery at the scene or elsewhere.” The three men added that they didn’t see Baker rob or assault anyone with or without a firearm, according to ESPN’s report.
A statement from the office of Broward State Attorney Michael J. Satz was released on Monday shortly after the announcement of Dean’s arrest, which stated that charges against Baker were dropped.
(This is a breaking story. Stay tuned to Local 10 and Local10.com for updates.)