Monday, July 27, 2009

FSU founder Elgin James arrested for extortion

Elgin James, the founding member of FSU was arrested last week and charged with attempted extortion of a Chicago-area recording artist, the Chicago Tribune reports. FSU, which has branches and members all over the country and in the past has been accused of using violence as a means of controlling the punk scene. Members of FSU — which stands for Friends Stand United, or “Fuck Shit Up” — have been charged with everything from murder to robbery and now, extortion.

According to federal authorities, a member of a band that was aligned with FSU had a confrontation with a member of another band — later identified as the Chicago punk group Mest — while on tour in 2005. Then in October 2005, when Mest played Boston (where FSU was founded) the unnamed band member was attacked by six men, forcing the group to cancel its show at night. The FBI said that a month after the attacks, James contacted the Mest member, saying he could avoid further trouble if he made a $5,000 “donation” to FSU.

A month later, the band member was attacked again in Orlando, Florida, and James allegedly called the victim after the attack and “asked how the victim’s trip to Florida was going when the victim had never told James that the victim would be traveling in Florida,” reads an FBI press release. “After the victim told James that the victim would not be paying the $5,000, James allegedly ended the call sarcastically, which the victim understood to mean that further attacks would ensue.” After that incident, the victim got the FBI involved, and later tape recorded phone calls with James. After yet another attack, the victim scheduled a February 26, 2006 meeting with James to give FSU the $5,000 donation while the FBI had surveillance on the encounter.