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Armed robbery charges against ex-Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker are dropped

Armed robbery charges against former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker were dropped on Monday after his accusers’ attorney was arrested for allegedly attempting to extort $1.5 million from the NFL free agent. 

The Giants cut the 23-year-old Baker in September following his offseason arrest for allegedly participating in an armed robbery at a house party in Miramar, Florida. Witnesses told police that a fight broke out at a card table, at which point Baker allegedly ‘whipped out a semi-automatic firearm’ and instructed three individuals – including Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar- to start robbing people. 

Baker, Dunbar, and their alleged accomplices were said to have stolen around $70,000 in cash and jewelry at the party. Dunbar was arrested but never charged with the crime.   

On Monday, an attorney representing three of the four alleged victims was arrested in Broward County (Florida) on extortion charges related to the case. 

Investigators say attorney William Dean initially asked for $1.5 million from Baker, but dropped that figure to $800,000 ($266,000 for each client). In exchange for a bribe, police claim, Dean said his clients would stop cooperating with authorities or change their initial sworn statements.

Baker is still facing 10 years in prison on four counts of robbery with a firearm

William Dean (left), the attorney of three of the four men who accused former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker (right) of armed robbery in May, has been arrested in connection with an alleged extortion plot aimed at coaxing $1.5 million out of the NFL free agent

Baker was released in September after being charged with armed robbery in Florida, but those charges have since been dropped. However, he remains on the commissioner's exempt list

Baker was released in September after being charged with armed robbery in Florida, but those charges have since been dropped. However, he remains on the commissioner’s exempt list 

Dean told Baker’s attorney his clients would do ‘anything you want, so long as the money is right,’ per the report.

After Dean’s arrest, the Broward State Attorney’s Office told reporters that all charges against Baker were being dropped. 

‘Subsequently the alleged victims and the known witnesses have become uncooperative and their credibility is inalterably tarnished,’ assistant state attorney Paul Valcore said in a statement. 

The news was not a surprise to Baker’s attorney, Bradford Cohen.

‘I’ve been saying this from Day 1, that this was an extortion scheme and that DeAndre was the victim,’ Cohen, told NFL Network on Monday. ‘This event did not play out as they insinuated. And the case was dismissed.’

Baker, the 30th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, did not take part in the Giants’ offseason program or attend training camp. He was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list on July 27 and formally charged on August 7 with four counts of robbery with a firearm stemming from the alleged incident on May 13.

Prosecutors declined to continue the case against Dunbar, who remains on the Seattle roster.  

The extortion allegation follows a previous bribery claim, in which several of the accusers allegedly received cash at attorney Michael Grieco's office to change their testimony

The extortion allegation follows a previous bribery claim, in which several of the accusers allegedly received cash at attorney Michael Grieco’s office to change their testimony 

The extortion allegation follows a previous bribery claim, which appears to be unrelated to Dean’s extortion plot. 

In September, Miramar (Florida) Police Department released video purportedly showing the alleged victims receiving a payout to change their testimony against Baker’s alleged accomplice, Dunbar. 

That alleged payoff appears to have taken place at the office of Michael Grieco, Dunbar’s attorney who has since withdrawn from the case amid accusations that he was involved in the bribe.

Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar was arrested, but never charged in the case

Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar was arrested, but never charged in the case 

Police arrested Baker and Dunbar on May 16, but ultimately decided not to charge Dunbar, citing lack of evidence after witnesses changed testimony over his alleged involvement.

‘The football players were trying to offer us some money to go in and sign an affidavit,’ one of the alleged victims told police, according to a supplemental report in the case reviewed by the Daily Mail. ‘We finally agreed to $60,000 and that we would meet at a lawyer’s office in Brickell.’

Baker, a Miami native, was also sued by the three alleged victims of the robbery. 

The civil lawsuit, filed in Broward County court and obtained by the Daily Mail, seeks $100,000 in damages. 

According to the lawsuit and police reports, Baker robbed one victim of an Audemars Piguet watch, valued at $18,500, and $4,700 in cash, totaling $23,200 in damages. Another alleged victim claimed his $25,000 gold Hublot watch was stolen, along with $7,000 in cash, a passport, a bag, and a key to a Range Rover. 

Baker and Dunbar were attending the cookout at a gated community (pictured) in Miramar on May 13 when a fight broke out, and Baker pulled out a handgun, according to an arrest warrant. Baker and other men began robbing people of thousands of dollars in cash, watches and other valuables, witnesses told police. However, those witness statements have been recanted

Baker and Dunbar were attending the cookout at a gated community (pictured) in Miramar on May 13 when a fight broke out, and Baker pulled out a handgun, according to an arrest warrant. Baker and other men began robbing people of thousands of dollars in cash, watches and other valuables, witnesses told police. However, those witness statements have been recanted

The New York Daily News reported on July 10 that authorities believe Dunbar and Baker took part in a $55,000 payoff to four alleged victims. 

However, Baker’s attorney claims his client refused the accusers, which is why Baker’s name was omitted when they recanted their testimony against Dunbar on May 15.

Cohen also claimed he told the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the FBI that Baker was being extorted by the victims, who were threatening to go to gossip website TMZ with the allegation that both Baker and Dunbar stole thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry at gunpoint.

‘We received information from a third party that basically said if they don’t get paid, they were going to go to TMZ,’ said Cohen, as quoted by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. ‘We knew right away that this was extortion, and we weren’t going to be a part of that.’

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that Grieco is being investigated by the Florida Bar to determine if he had any role in the bribe.

‘There is no way he could not have seen this transaction,’ the warrant states.  

The unidentified witnesses in the case initially claimed Dunbar was involved, but now say that may not be the case. Police release video of an alleged payoff in the case from a lawyer's office

The unidentified witnesses in the case initially claimed Dunbar was involved, but now say that may not be the case. Police release video of an alleged payoff in the case from a lawyer’s office

DeAndre Bake was charged with four counts of armed robbery and faced 10 years in prison

DeAndre Bake was charged with four counts of armed robbery and faced 10 years in prison 

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar was arrested but never charged in the crime

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar was arrested but never charged in the crime 

In exchange for the alleged payoff, the four unidentified individuals signed affidavits recanting their initial statements against Dunbar, according to allegations contained in the warrant.

The alleged victims stated on May 15 that ‘any robbery or assault, with or without a firearm, did not involve Mr. Dunbar.’

After the Daily News report, Grieco issued a statement to the Seattle Times, denying the payoff.

‘Law enforcement, both local and federal, was advised from day one and beyond that the alleged ‘victims’ in this case were actively extorting Baker and Dunbar,’ Grieco said, per The Times. ‘These men fabricated a robbery story after waiting an hour to call police and then immediately began contacting the players demanding money. 

‘My office obtained accurate and truthful affidavits consistent with the independent witness and my client’s account. These ‘victims’ are seasoned career criminals who have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes ranging from conspiracy to commit murder, to human trafficking, to filing a false police report. Mr. Dunbar took and passed a polygraph confirming that he did not participate or witness any robbery.’    

Baker's attorney, Bradford Cohen (pictured), told NFL Network on Monday: 'I've been saying this from Day 1, that this was an extortion scheme and that DeAndre was the victim'

Baker’s attorney, Bradford Cohen (pictured), told NFL Network on Monday: ‘I’ve been saying this from Day 1, that this was an extortion scheme and that DeAndre was the victim’


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