Glenview man charged with extorting workers

January 13, 2010

A Glenview man and a Des Plaines woman allegedly used a variety of threats to extort thousands of dollars from a foreign national who worked at the business, according to federal prosecutors.

Alex A. Campbell of Glenview and Danielle John of Des Plaines were arrested Wednesday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Cook County Sheriff's officers, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Campbell, who is in his mid-40s and also known as "Daddy" or Dave; and John, 23, also known as "Princess," were each charged with conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday and unsealed Wednesday following their arrests, the release said.

They had initial court appearances Wednesday and remain in federal custody pending detention hearings at 1:45 p.m. Friday for John and 2:30 p.m. Friday for Campbell before Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan in U.S. District Court.

According to the complaint, the alleged victim came to the United States in 2007 and attended massage therapy school in Chicago, where she met Campbell in 2008. In November 2008, she moved into an apartment with another woman, also an alleged victim.

Campbell owned the apartment and both women began working at his parlor, the Day and Night Spa on Northwest Highway in Mt. Prospect, which was among several locations where federal agents and sheriff's officers executed search warrants Wednesday.

The woman told investigators women who worked at the parlor had a tattoo of a horseshoe on their necks. The affidavit states investigators interviewed women who worked for Campbell and with John and were told Campbell forced them to have various tattoos applied.

The victim said Campbell told her he could help with her immigration status and documents, and she paid him $13,000 earned at the spa and money sent by her parents, the complaint alleges. In March 2009, he allegedly told her she had to pay him another $10,000, an amount later raised to a total of $21,000, or work at his massage parlor from opening to closing seven days a week.

Campbell allegedly verbally abused and threatened her, telling her he had a gun, and forced her to engage in sexual activity, the complain alleges. And he allegedly forced her and another woman to engage in sexual activity with each other while recording them on his cell phone video camera.

He then threatened to upload the video to the Internet or send them to her parents if she did not continue to work for him, the charges allege. The woman began recording conversations with Campbell and John between August and October 2009, including a meeting at which she allegedly paid John $1,500.

Extortion conspiracy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the release said. ... s1.article