Florida prosecutors have dropped all charges against former New York giant DeAndre Baker stemming from an alleged robbery, and a lawyer representing three people who are said to be victims has been arrested on charges of extortion, authorities said Monday.
Baker, 23, was charged with robbery with a firearm in connection with an incident in May at a home party in Miramar.
On Monday, 50-year-old William Dean, a lawyer representing three men who said they were victims, was arrested and charged with trying to extort about $ 800,000 from Baker.
Dean is said to have wanted Baker to pay more than $ 266,000 to each alleged victim in exchange for them to stop cooperating with prosecutors and change their sworn statements, the sheriff̵
“Evidence in the case reveals that Dean told Baker’s lawyer that his clients would do whatever you wanted as long as the money was right,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutor Paul Valcor, an assistant state’s attorney, said in a statement that the three alleged victims had stopped cooperating and “their trust has undoubtedly been damaged.”
He wrote that all three renounced their initial statements and gave new ones, saying that Baker was not involved in any criminal act and that they were not robbed.
Baker’s lawyer Bradford Cohen did not send a request for comment by e-mail Monday night, but he said the allegations were based on the testimony of recognized liars.
Cohen told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Baker had paid people “zero dollars, capitalized Z.”
Dean was in custody Monday night, according to the online prison. His criminal case does not appear to be in online court records, and it is unclear whether he has a lawyer.
Baker was charged with armed robbery and assault. Another NFL player, Quinton Dunbar of the Seattle Seahawks, was also charged, but the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. The allegations were that the victims stole money and watches at a party where those present said there was gambling.
Baker was drafted by the Giants in 2019, and in September he was fired by the team.
Giants head coach Joe Judge said on Monday that he wished Baker his best, but that the team was not interested in bringing him back.
“We have made the decision we think is best for the program,” he told ESPN.
Cohen told the Associated Press that he never believed Baker had robbed men who all have crimes. “The fact that they were trying to get my client to pay them speaks for itself,” he said.