CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Hollywood hobnobber accused of trying to extort millions of dollars from influential people, including a West Virginia coal magnate, is now facing terrorism charges.
A superceding indictment against Vivek Shah, 25, of West Hollywood was filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday adding several charges.
The new indictment charges Shah with two counts of "acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries," five counts of identity fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Shah remains at Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.
It is not immediately clear what led to the terrorism indictment. Online court documents in the case have been sealed and U.S. District Judge Irene Berger has issued a gag order.
The terrorism statute is vague but states that if a person threatens to kill, kidnap, maim, commit an assault resulting in bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon or creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to any other person by destroying or damaging any structure, they could be punished under federal law.
The gag order, issued Aug. 29, forbids anyone involved in the case from speaking to the media. It also restricts online access to court documents to "court users" meaning documents are not viewable by the public.
A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office would not comment on the recent indictment. Troy Giatras, Shah's attorney, was out of the office until Monday, according to his secretary.
Investigators executed search warrants last month on a Samsung Galaxy II cellphone and all records electronically stored with an email address.
Shah, who has appeared in minor roles in such films as "The Dark Knight" and once had a Facebook profile with dozens of photos showing him with A-list celebrities, was initially indicted on Aug. 21 in West Virginia on charges of extortion and making threats.
The indictment came after investigators found information that Shah threatened several individuals, including Beckley native and Foresight Reserves owner Chris Cline.
Shah allegedly claimed in letters to several influential people that he would harm their families unless they paid him large sums of money.
A letter for Cline, who is worth about $1.2 billion and is the 360th richest American according to Forbes magazine, arrived at his North Palm Beach, Fla., home in June. The letter contained threats to kill members of Cline's family, many of whom still live in the Beckley area, if he did not transfer $13 million to an offshore bank account.
A second letter contained instructions for wiring the funds to a bank in Cyprus and a copy of the original extortion letter.
Shah was arrested Aug. 10 at his father's Schaumburg, Ill., home. Authorities later discovered he planned to take handgun-training courses when he returned to the Los Angeles area on Aug. 12.
Shah was indicted on similar charges in U.S. District Court in California. According to court documents in that case, the letters titled "Extortion Notice" demanded money, set a deadline, gave a warning not to notify police and the following threat:
"[Victim], if you follow the instructions, then you can take this notice lightly. If you don't, then expect at least one person dead in the next one year. It could be [first names of close relatives], or any other close relative."
Cline was not among the victims listed in the California indictment.
The victims in that indictment were all identified by initials. Several media outlets have named them as Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, oil heiress Dannine Avara, and Ryan Kavanaugh, a Relativity studio executive.
Two of the victims have not been identified.
Shah was born in Akron, Ohio, where he lived for the first six years of his life. His family then moved to India before coming back to the U.S. ten years later, according to an online biography.
Hearings have not yet been scheduled.