CHICAGO (CN) – The founder of a punk gang shook down a musician for $5,000 and “purports to exert control through use of violence over hardcore punk rock music in clubs and concert venues in major cities nationwide,” federal prosecutors say. Elgin Nathan James was arrested this week in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors say James is the self-proclaimed founder of FSU, a violent punk gang that targets Neo-Nazi skinheads and drug dealers. The gang has chapters in several major U.S. cities.
He is charged with shaking down a Chicago-area band member, demanding – and getting – $5,000 to stop the gang’s intimidation and violence. The musician paid James $5,000, provided by the FBI, outside a Southern California club while the FBI watched, according to an agent’s affidavit.
James, who is of mixed race, founded the gang in the late 1990s to combat skinhead racism and drive skinheads out of Boston punk rock clubs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
James is charged with attempted extortion, rather than extortion, because the victim was cooperating with law enforcement at the time of the payment, prosecutors said.