Extortion charges brought against Traverse City resort owner

file7071312659411A Traverse City resort owner is accused of extorting a local parasailing company.

Charges were announced this week by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The parasailing company allegedly paid Brian Punturo thousands of dollars before reaching out for legal assistance.

According to the charges, Punturo approached the parasailing business in 2014 and threatened to shut it down unless he was paid nineteen thousand dollars a year.

Andrea Bitely is the press secretary for the Attorney General. She says an investigation led to charges.

“What we did was we indicted Mr. Punturo with one count of felony extortion. If convicted that carries up to 20 years in prison or a $10,000 fine if he is found guilty of this alleged crime.”

Punturo’s next court appearance is May 23rd.