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Natalee Holloway disappearance suspect Joran van der Sloot to be extradited to U.S.

Peru’s government says the case in the U.S. involves extortion and fraud targeting Holloway's mother.

A Dutch man who was suspected in the 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway is being extradited to the United States in connection with a fraud case, Peruvian officials said Wednesday.

Joran van der Sloot is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for the 2010 killing of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.

He was arrested but never convicted in the disappearance of Holloway, who vanished in Aruba in 2005.

Holloway has never been found. The 18-year-old from Alabama went on a high school graduation trip and never returned. A judge later declared her dead.

Van der Sloot was arrested and released in that case and was never charged.

The extradition is the latest twist in a case that generated countless news stories when Holloway disappeared and multiple fictionalized movies and documentaries, some even more than a decade later.

Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot arrives for a hearing at the Lurigancho prison in Lima on January 11, 2011. The trial for Van der Sloot, accused of killing a young Peruvian woman in 2010 and who also is a suspect in the disappearance years earlier of an American woman in the Caribbean, continues in Lima.
Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot arrives for a hearing at the Lurigancho prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2011.Ernesto Benavides / AFP via Getty Images file

The new case involves fraud and extortion related to Holloway’s mother, Peru’s government said in a statement about the approval of van der Sloot's transfer to the U.S.

In a statement Wednesday, Beth Holloway again blamed van der Sloot for her daughter’s death.

"It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee," she said.

Van der Sloot was criminally charged in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2010 with two federal counts that deal with extortion and wire fraud, according to court records.

A criminal complaint filed in 2010 alleges that he caused thousands of dollars to be sent to the Netherlands on a promise that the location of Holloway’s remains and details of her death would be revealed.

Federal prosecutors said in 2010 that van der Sloot caused Beth Holloway to wire $25,000 in all — $15,000 to his account in the Netherlands and $10,000 more to a lawyer in New York who was to take that money to him in Aruba in person.

He identified to the lawyer a site in Aruba where he said Holloway’s remains were buried, but it was a lie, federal prosecutors said.

The charges in that case were interference with commerce by threat or violence and wire fraud, according to court records.

The plot involved an attempt to have a total of $250,000 transferred, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit in that U.S. fraud case. 

Maximo Altez, who represents van der Sloot, told The Associated Press that he will fight the decision once he is properly notified by the Peruvian government.

“I am going to challenge that resolution,” the attorney said. “I am going to oppose it, since he has the right to a defense.”

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment on Van der Sloot.

"As a matter of long-standing practice, the Department does not comment on extradition matters," the spokesperson said.