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Tenn. TV 'Millionaire' in extortion bid

TRAVIS LOLLER Associated Press Published: May 30, 2014 4:00 AM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A Tennessee man who appeared on "The Millionaire Matchmaker" is accused of trying to extort $2.5 million from a nuclear weapons plant in exchange for 1,200 slides he allegedly claimed would be damaging if released publicly.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court last week, Adam Winters sent an email on May 8 to Babcock and Wilcox, the contractors operating the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The email also was sent to the FBI's Knoxville office and to Vice President Joe Biden, the affidavit said.

The email states that Winters has slides that contain "evidence from testing the bombs, to documentation on how much radiation was used on animals and contamination of the plants," according to the affidavit.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Winters' family in 1993 sought money from the government and the media for the same slides, which were accidentally left in an old storage cabinet sold at auction. The U.S. Department of Energy refused to pay for the slides, some of which show government research on the effects of radiation on animals.

Winters told The Associated Press in an email that he's the same Adam Winters who appeared as "the Beverly Hillbilly" on a Feb. 6 episode of "The Millionaire Matchmaker."

Although Winters said he was a millionaire entrepreneur on the show, the court last week found Winters didn't have funds to retain a private attorney and appointed a federal public defender for him.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Winters said he now has a private attorney he referred questions to. The attorney didn't return a call seeking comment.

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