Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, April 24, 2015

FBI Accuses Parma Woman's 'Pimp' Of Extorting Stark County Businessman

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 1:17 PM

The victim met the woman on
  • The victim met the woman on

A Middleburg Heights man was charged in federal court yesterday, accused of extorting a wealthy married Stark County businessman who he accused of causing a Parma woman's rectal boils.

David A. Zehnder, 45, is accused of demanding $125,000 from the businessman, who had met a 32-year-old Parma woman last August on the extramarital dating website The man acted as a "sugar daddy" to the woman, according to the complaint, paying her monthly for sex and her company. They met about 11 times and he paid her between $30,000 - $40,000, he told the FBI.

Meanwhile, the businessman developed "a boil in his rectum which required surgery," the complaint says, and "according to the Female, she later developed a similar boil."

The woman's anal boil is when David Zehnder enters the scene. He's the woman's pimp, according to the man, and when he arrived at the woman's Parma home on April 6, Zehnder was waiting for him there wearing rubber gloves and holding a club threatening violence if he didn't pay up.

Zehnder said the woman was "damaged merchandise" because of the boil, and that was going to "cost" the victim: he'd either have to provide $125,000 or there would be "serious physical harm" and that he'd tell the man's wife about his actions with the woman. Zehnder made the man go to the bank and give him $10,000 in cash that day, with the rest paid in installments. According to the complaint:

ZEHNDER stated no one would know and this would all go away so long as victim did as instructed. Victim took this to mean ZEHNDER would tell Victim's wife of his transgressions should he not pay. Victim was further threatened that if the authorities were called, ZEHNDER had "others" in place to carry out his plans should he be arrested and unable to do so. Victim was fearful ZEHNDER would harm him or his family should he not pay the extortionate demand.

Sometime before April 15, the man went to the FBI, because the agency set up surveillance outside of the Parma home and was able to record the meeting when the businessman met Zehnder there that day.

He arrived just before noon last Wednesday to meet with Zehnder and pay the next installment. Zehnder held up a legal notepad with the words "no talking," but Zehnder "began to speak out of frustration" because the man was questioning the payments and why it was being done at the home.

"Stop!" Zehnder is recorded saying. "You don't get it, man. This is business. You don't get it. This is business."

According to the FBI, Zender is also accused of saying "'Cause if I don't get my money... I already told you, there's more than just me." And "You made millions. Listen, listen, listen. If you had kept seeing her for the next two years, you would've spent this anyways."

After Zehnder was assured the man wasn't wearing a wire, he said "I'm gonna get mine. One way or the other. And like I said, if you take me down, I'm not the only one. This is part of this whole world you don't understand." Later: "If you cause trouble for me personally, that's gonna cause a fucking shitload of trouble for you. Do you understand? I'm very valuable. Do you understand? The people I work with are not gonna be happy if something happens to me."

Zehnder also confirmed, while being recorded, that he demanded $125,000 from the man.

Zehnder is charged with knowingly affecting interstate commerce by extortion by threat of physical violence and knowingly transmit in interstate commerce a communication as part of a threat to injure another person to extort money.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation