The founder of Equine Angels Rescue is charged with two counts of extortion. A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Pamela Vivirito, of Pennsylvania, last week.
Court documents state Vivirito extorted property from two men after she had sexual relationships with them during different time frames. Vivirito allegedly extorted “Person 1,” who is in real estate, after their affair from May 2012 to March 2015. Vivirito obtained his property because he feared his and his wife’s businesses would suffer if the defendant made good on threats to expose their sexual affair, according to the superseding indictment.
Vivirito allegedly obtained another man’s property through inducement after they had an affair from December 2010 to May 2012. The man named as “Person 2” works in the manufacturing industry and interstate commerce. The feds say the threats of being exposed made him fear his business would suffer.
Controversy is no stranger to Vivirito in the horse rescue world. A group of horse owners sued Equine Angels Rescue, Vivirito, an official, and a veterinarian in 2013. The suit alleged, among other things, that the defendants engaged in a scheme to manipulate the laws and “extort” horses from their owners under threat of criminal prosecution. The suit settled in December 2013 for $105,000. The horse owners regained possession of their animals.
Equine Angels Rescue is no longer operational.
If convicted, Vivirito faces a maximum of 40-years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both.