Florida prosecutors are dropping all charges against former New York Giant DeAndre Baker, that stemmed from an alleged robbery, and an attorney representing three people who claimed to be victims was arrested on an extortion charge, authorities said Monday.
Baker, 23, had been charged with robbery with a firearm in connection with a May incident at a house party in Miramar.
On Monday, William Dean, 50, an attorney representing three men who had said they were victims, was arrested and is accused of trying to extort around $800,000 from Baker.
Dean allegedly 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 sheriff's office said.
"Evidence in the case reveals that Dean told Baker’s attorney that his clients would do 'anything you want, so long as the money is right,'" the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Prosecutor Paul Valcore, an assistant state attorney, said in a statement that the three alleged victims had stopped cooperating and "their credibility is inalterably tarnished."
He wrote that all three recanted 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 attorney, Bradford Cohen, did not return an emailed request for comment Monday night, but he has said the charges were based on the testimony of admitted liars.
Cohen told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Baker paid the men “Zero dollars, with a capital Z.”
Dean was in custody Monday night, according to online jail records. It did not appear that his criminal case was in online court records, and it was unclear if he had an attorney.
Baker had been charged with armed robbery and assault. Another NFL player, Quinton Dunbar of the Seattle Seahawks, had also been accused but charges were declined because of lack of evidence. The allegation was that claimed victims had cash and watches stolen at the party, where attendees said there had been gambling.
Baker was drafted by the Giants in 2019, and in September, he was waived by the team.
Giants' head coach Joe Judge said Monday that he wished Baker the best but that the team was not interested in bringing him back.
"We've made the decision we think is best for the program," he said, ESPN reported.
Cohen told The Associated Press that he never believed Baker robbed the men, who all have felony records. “The fact that they were trying to get my client to pay them off speaks for itself about what happened,” he said.