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Newport extortion case moved to September

July 22, 2011

The case against a Newport Beach-based attorney accused of attempting to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Corona del Mar woman was postponed Friday until September.

James Toledano, 67, of Costa Mesa, is accused of helping his client, Michael Roberts, attempt to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from Priscilla Marconi, who, with her husband, employed Roberts as her personal trainer between 1995 and 2005, before firing him in 2005.

The motion by the defense to dismiss the case was moved to Sept. 23. The trial against Roberts and Toledano was moved to 9 a.m. Oct. 4 in Department C-34, at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

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Prosecutors allege that Toledano met with Marconi in May 2008 and asked the woman for $350,000 to keep Roberts from ruining her reputation.

Toledano, the former chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, still practices law in Newport Beach and has no record of discipline, according to the state bar.

He was questioned and almost ousted as the party's chairman in 1996 over the handling of a $10,000 campaign contribution, but remained in the position through 1997.

He is charged with a felony conspiracy to commit a crime and a felony attempt to threaten or extort.

— Lauren Williams

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