Man gets 27 months in Sheffield blackmail case

Updated: January 19, 2006, 11:17 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- A Chicago man who tried to blackmail New York Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield and his wife by claiming to have a video showing her having sex with R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in prison.

Derrick Mosley, 39, a self-styled minister and community activist, was sentenced to 27 months, but will get more prison time later because he was on probation for bank fraud at the time of the alleged extortion.

Mosley maintained throughout the case that he had not meant to blackmail anyone and that he had been misunderstood when he offered to provide Sheffield's wife, DeLeon Richards-Sheffield, with personal counseling.

"I'm sorry it got to this point, given my track record with the community," he told federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan.

Prosecutor Clarence Butler brushed such claims aside.

"The jury didn't misunderstand," Butler said. "The jury convicted him of all four counts."

Mosley was convicted Nov. 15 of two counts of extortion and two counts of wire fraud for plotting to extort money from Sheffield and his wife.

Prosecutors said Mosley asked for $20,000 in return for destroying a tape that he claimed showed DeLeon Richards-Sheffield having sex with Kelly before she married Sheffield.

Sheffield said in a statement released at the time of Mosley's arrest that his wife "had a long-term relationship with a well-known professional singer over 10 years ago."

The investigation began after Sheffield's agent, Rufus Williams, alerted the FBI that Mosley had called him on Nov. 3, 2004, to discuss the matter.

During the trial, Williams testified that Mosley told him that Mrs. Sheffield "needed to atone, she needed to repent," and suggested that he could be her paid spiritual consultant.

Williams said Wednesday that Sheffield would have no comment on Mosley's sentencing.

The next stop for Mosley is expected to be a hearing before U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur, who presided over his bank fraud case. Butler declined to comment on how much additional time Mosley might get for violating his probation.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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