Belfast Telegraph

Jailed 'hitman' facing extradition

A former Las Vegas poker dealer jailed for extortion in an elaborate hitman-for-hire scam faces extradition back to the United States.

Egyptian-born Essam Eid was sentenced to six years behind bars for demanding 100,000 euro from a wealthy businessman's son in exchange for not killing him, his brother and their father.

The 55-year-old had been hired on the internet by mother-of-two Sharon Collins, who used the alias Lying Eyes, to find a hitman to kill her partner, PJ Howard, and his two sons, Robert and Niall, in 2006.

The High Court in Dublin heard that Eid is wanted by authorities in the US for conspiracy with his ex-partner to extort money from a woman and intent to extort money with a threat to kill.

The incidents are alleged to have happened on or around September 22 2006 in Los Angeles.

Eid, who is due for release on Monday, will reappear before the court next Wednesday.

Eid, who was smartly dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and tie, was arrested by extradition gardai at the Criminal Courts of Justice just before the short hearing.

He is accused of conspiring with his ex-partner, Teresa Engle, to extort money from Anne Lauren Royston, a Los Angeles-area mortgage broker, and also threatening to kill her in a telephone call in return for money.

Sergeant Sean Fallon told Mr Justice Gareth Sheehan in the High Court that Eid replied "no comment" when asked if he knew what the extradition was about. There was no application for bail and Eid was remanded in custody.

After a seven-week trial which gripped the nation, the former poker dealer was jailed in Ireland in September 2008 for extortion and handling items stolen from the Howard family business in Co Clare. He later lost an appeal against the length of his jail term.

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