Man arrested for shaking down businesses

November 26, 2009 1:43:07 PM PST
A man is facing charges of theft, extortion and impersonating a state officer for allegedly pretending to be a Labor Department inspector and charging small businesses hundreds of dollars.

Michael Bolanos pleaded not guilty on Friday. He is free on bail, and expected in court in December.

He allegedly visited businesses across the San Francisco Bay Area, flashing a badge and official-looking documents.

Oakland police officers say he would investigate the premises, and list various trumped-up violations costing the owner thousands of dollars. Then he would offer to not report the infractions if he was paid a few hundred dollars on the spot.

He was arrested Nov.4. Ten victims have identified him so far but investigators believe there might be dozens of others.


Load Comments