CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A Cape Coral couple’s alleged extortion scheme involved an imaginary pimp.
Yes, you read that right. An imaginary pimp.
Kamajlit “Vinay” Uttam, 46, and his wife, Simone, 45, both of 416 NW 7th Place in Cape Coral, face multiple charges for allegedly threatening and extorting the owner of a real estate company for thousands, according to recently released court documents.
It began in 2013 when Kamajlit Uttam told his landlord, Bodo Kleber, that he was separating from his wife and wanted to find a home in “a nice community with a pool,” documents said.
Kleber, who owns a real estate company specializing in seasonal and annual rental properties, found him a home in the Coral Lakes neighborhood.
A few months later, Uttam told Kleber he sub-rented the home to a German escort. He directed the landlord to a website where he could book her online, documents said.
Kleber regularly met with her and other escorts in a Publix parking lot, then went to a nearby home for sexual encounters, documents said.
The imaginary pimp
After one encounter, the initial escort told Kleber “this is going to be a very costly day for you.”
The woman claimed she had video of Kleber having sex with a 17-year-old, documents said. She threatened to release the video to his wife, his employees and authorities if he didn’t pay her $40,000, documents said.
Kleber contacted Uttam, who said that “Ishmael”, a Naples-based pimp, could negotiate with the escort, documents said.
Uttam convinced Kleber that “Ishmael” dropped the amount to $25,000, with a portion of the payment going to the pimp for “negotiation services,” according to reports.
But Kleber could only pay $15,000. He borrowed the rest from Uttam, which he paid back in monthly installments.
The extortion was supposedly part of a prostitution ring ran by Uttam, the document said.
“Ishmael became aware of his business and started demanding a share of [Uttam’s] profits,” the document said. “This continued to escalate to the point where Ishmael assumed complete control over the girls and [Uttam] was forced out of the business. Mr. Kleber said [Uttam] portrayed Ishmael as a very powerful figure in the prostitution business, and when [Uttam] tried to push back, Ishmael forcefully took possession of his paid off Mercedes Benz and then threatened harm to his three children.”
Uttam disappeared for a while, moving to Miami, then Seattle, to get away from Ishmael, documents said.
But in 2015, he requested Kleber’s help in finding a home in Cape Coral.
Simone Uttam became involved in October 2016, posing as a middle person for “Ishmael,” documents said.
She handed Kleber a SD card with video of Kleber allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old.
“Simone also told him that either Ishmael, or somebody working for him approached her at her child’s Cape Coral bus stop and instructed her to deliver the video to him,” the document said.
If Kleber didn’t pay $50,000, the video would be made public, the document said.
Kleber went back to Kamajlit Uttam for help.
“During the conversation, Vinay reminded Mr. Kleber of the shooting in his Seattle night club,” the document said. “Because he had girls working for him out there, Ishmael or people working for him did the shooting.”
Kamajlit Uttam then claimed “Ishmael” was extorting him for $500,000, and when he tried to negotiate, the pimp burned down his store without warning, the document said.
“Attempts to verify information that Vinay had businesses in Seattle, or even established residency in the area have not been successful,” documents said.
Kleber asked an attorney to safeguard the video, who then turned it over to Cape Coral police.
Investigators conducted surveillance on a meeting between Kleber and Simone Uttam at a Cape Coral Starbucks in October 2016.
“According to the books you have over 300 houses under management with fixed revenues,” said the document, translating the conversation between the two from German to English. “Your deadline is this Friday. After that we will not be contacting you any longer and will do what needs to be done to teach you a lesson you will surely regret.”
Detectives also monitored her child’s bus stop for three days.
“The surveillance determined that Simone did not come to the bus stop at all,” the document said. “In fact, the only person escorting their child to the bus stop each morning was her husband Vinay, who is clearly living with his family in their Cape Coral home, and not in New York as they led Mr. Kleber to believe.”
Authorities conducted a “controlled delivery” of the extortion money on Nov. 2, 2016 in the parking lot of a Culver’s restaurant on Pine Island Road.
“A cardboard box wrapped like a Christmas present was used to hold the supposed extortion currency,” the document said.
Simone Uttam gave the box to her husband, who was later stopped by Cape Coral officers.
“Vinay insisted the only reason he had the package was to help Simone because she was scared of Ishmael and didn’t want anything more to do with this situation,” the document said.
The couple, when interviewed by detectives, blamed the scheme on “Ishamel” but couldn’t prove his existence, the document said.
“Neither party has been able to provide any evidence, or usable information to substantiate their claims of a criminal organization orchestrating this crime,” the document said. “It is reasonable to believe that Simone and Vinay created the character ‘Ishamel’ to intimidate Mr. Kleber and take the focus off of them.”
Kamajlit Uttam, who faces two counts of extortion, was released from the Lee County jail on Jan. 14 after posting a $30,000 bond. Simone Uttam remained in jail Thursday under no bond. She faces one count each of extortion and grand theft.