The man accused of extorting actor John Stamos for $680,000 owned a nightclub that recently shut its doors, offering a possible clue about financial problems that led to Scott Sippola's arrest by the FBI, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.
Sippola, 30, and Allison Coss, 23, were arrested by the FBI after demanding a payoff in exchange for not releasing what they claimed were damaging photos of Stamos, according to a criminal complaint first made public by The Smoking Gun.
RadarOnline.com has learned that Sippola is listed as the owner of Matrixx night club in Marquette, Michigan. Sippola is listed as the owner/manager of The Matrix, Inc. on the club's Web site. Two sources confirmed to RadarOnline.com that Matrixx was closed.
A source also confirmed to RadarOnline.com that Sippola and Coss are romantically involved.
An affidavit from an FBI agent said that Stamos, identified as "Mr. X", attended a party with Coss in 2004 during which photos were taken. Stamos stayed in email contact with Coss. Last month, Stamos received communication from a man threatening to damage the actor's reputation by releasing the photos unless the actor paid him $680,000.
A sting operation was set up by the FBI and Sippola and Coss were arrested at a Michigan airport.
Was Sippola’s nightclub going bankrupt and is that why he tried to extort Stamos? The closing of Matrixx would seem to point in that direction but one nearby business owner told RadarOnline.com that he believes Sippola has plenty of money and was going to reopen his club after remodeling it.
“He (Sippola) has a mortgage on the building and the other businesses pay rents to him that would more than likely cover the lease,” the nearby business owner told RadarOnline.com. “It seems like he has all the money in the world, why would he engage in illegal behavior to get more money? It’s bizarre to me. Some people are enchanted by celebrity and just interacting with them in any fashion may be what he was after.”
But RadarOnline.com has learned the club has been closed since Halloween and there are no notices on its websites that it will reopen. Various official web pages for the club are mostly out of date except for its MySpace page, which features a posting of an article detailing Sippola's arrest.