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‘Evil Elmo’ charged with trying to extort Girl Scouts

Posted at 11:22 AM, Jun 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-06 13:57:21-04

A local street performer dubbed “Evil Elmo” for his not-so kid friendly behavior is in trouble with the law yet again, after authorities said he attempted to extort $2 million from the Girls Scouts of America.

According to police, Dan Sandler faces felony charges on attempted grand larceny and other offenses. The ‘Elmo’ impersonator pleaded not guilty, and a judge ordered him held on $200,000 bail.

Manhattan prosecutors allege that Sandler was leaving harassing emails and voice mails for a Girl Scouts supervisor he met while working as a fill-in employee at the nonprofit. They said that when the supervisor told him to stop contacting her, he threatened to fabricate false rumors about sex abuse within the organization unless they gave him a lucrative position or made him a millionaire.

Defense attorney Lawrence Gerzog argued for a lower bail because his client had “mental health issues,” and that his antics never posed a real threat to the organization.

Last year, while portraying the popular children’s character in Times Square, Sandler was accused of going on an anti-Semitic rant where he harassed tourists. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to two days of community service.