NEW YORK (AP) _ A New York federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and 20-year prison sentence for philanthropist Anne H. Bass’s former butler.

Emanuel Nicolescu (nik-oh-LES’-kyoo) was convicted last year in New Haven, Conn., of trying to extort millions of dollars during an hours-long ordeal in which Bass and a companion were held hostage on her rural Kent, Conn., estate.

Bass fired Nicolescu weeks before three men invaded her western Connecticut home in April 2007. Authorities said the masked intruders injected the women and withheld an antidote unless they paid $8.5 million. The injected substance was harmless.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday said a commerce-related charge was appropriate because a successful extortion would have reduced the scope of Bass’s global charity.

Bass is an ex-wife of Texas billionaire Sid Bass.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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