Calverton Man Pleads Not Guilty To Extorting Thousands From Southampton Woman

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A Calverton man accused of extorting thousands of dollars from a Southampton woman over the past two months was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of $100,000 bail after pleading not guilty to numerous larceny charges during his arraignment on August 20 in a Riverhead courtroom.

Michael Didwell, 25, is accused of threatening to kill a Southampton woman’s ex-fiancé, her three children and her friend, according to court records. He also told the victim that if she did not pay, he and his friends would kill the victim’s loved ones.

According to authorities, Mr. Didwell took payments totaling $800 from the victim on at least eight separate occasions, in varying increments ranging from $50 to $300. He was arrested by Southampton Town Police on August 5 after an investigation by detectives.

Mr. Didwell—who authorities said provided police with a written confession after his arrest—was charged with 16 counts of second-degree and fourth-degree grand larceny, both felonies, as well as eight counts of petit larceny, a misdemeanor.

Police said Mr. Didwell’s attorney, Daniel Rodgers of Southampton, told Suffolk County Criminal Court Judge John Collins that his client was being held in the mental health unit of the jail while in custody.

“We have read the allegations and believe they need to be taken seriously,” Mr. Rodgers wrote in an email on Friday. “We must let the judicial process take its course.”

Mr. Didwell is slated to appear again in Suffolk County Criminal Court on Thursday, September 25, in front of Judge Fernando Camacho.

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