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Extortion case is up for review

July 22, 2011

The case against a Newport Beach-based attorney accused of partnering with a personal trainer in an attempt to extort a large amount of money from a Corona del Mar woman will go up for review and possible dismissal Friday, according to court records.

James Toledano, 67, of Costa Mesa, is accused of partnering with his client Michael Roberts to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from Priscilla Marconi.

Marconi and her husband, Richard Marconi, employed Roberts as a personal trainer for 10 years before firing him in 2005.

Between 2006 and 2008, Roberts allegedly made dozens of calls to Priscilla Marconi and her friends threatening to tarnish her reputation and make her life difficult by exposing an affair "that did not exist anywhere but in his mind," Marconi claimed in court records.

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Prosecutors allege Toledano met with the woman in May of 2008 and told her Roberts wanted $350,000 to keep quiet.

Toledano is the former chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party.

If Toledano's case isn't dismissed, it is set to go to trial Tuesday in courtroom C5 in Santa Ana's Central Justice Center.

—Lauren Williams

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