Joran van der Sloot's plan to extort money from the parents of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway was so brazen that he demanded her mother sign a contract pledging tens of thousands of dollars for information about where her daughter's remains could be found, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed today.
But in a heartless act of greed and deception, the Dutch playboy accepted $25,000 from Holloway's mother and then lied to her about where her daughter was buried, the affidavit states.
Van der Sloot, 22, is currently jailed in Peru for the murder of a young woman, Stephany Flores Ramirez, who he met in a Lima casino.
On the day he was arrested for murder, U.S. prosecutors in Birmingham, Ala., issued an arrest warrant for van der Sloot charging him with extortion.
The federal affidavit released today spells out for the first time how the alleged extortion scam unfolded.
U.S. prosecutors say van der Sloot contacted a person known to Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, in March, and negotiated a price for showing him the location of the remains of the Alabama high school student who vanished during a school trip to Aruba in 2005.
Van der Sloot initially demanded $250,000, but later agreed to show the family's proxy the location of the body in Aruba for $25,000 up front and a promise of more to come.
The affidavit does not name the proxy, referred to by the government as a "cooperating witness."
During the negotiations with Twitty's go-between, "van der Sloot insisted that a written contract between him and Mrs. Twitty be prepared by the cooperating witness," according to the affidavit.
The contract was signed by Twitty, who faxed it back to the cooperating witness in New York.
Offices for lawyer John Kelly, who represented Twitty in her 2006 wrongful death civil suit against van der Sloot, are located in New York.
"Van der Sloot indicated to the cooperating witness that unless Mrs. Twitty paid the money demanded he would not tell where the remains of her daughter were hidden, nor provide any information regarding the circumstances of her death," the affidavit states.
On May 10, Twitty's go-between flew to Aruba to meet van der Sloot, who signed his name to the contract and was paid $10,000 cash from the witness.
"Next, the cooperating witness called Mrs. Twitty, who immediately wire transferred $15,000, the balance of the initial payment, from her bank account in Regions Bank in Birmingham, Alabama, to van der Sloot's bank account in the Netherlands. Van der Sloot confirmed to the cooperating witness that the wire transfer had occurred," according to the affidavit.
With the money in his hands, Van der Sloot took the witness to a house where he said Holloway's remains were buried in the foundation.
"Van der Sloot then told the cooperating witness that van der Sloot's father, Paulus van der Sloot, had disposed of Natalee's body by burying her remains in the gravel under the foundation of the single story house," read the court documents. The senior van der Sloot died last year.
Van der Sloot says he remained in the car while his father concealed her body in foundation and did not actually see where the body had been dumped.
Van der Sloot also claimed that he had been with Holloway on the night she died and "that he had thrown her to the ground after she had attempted to stop him from leaving her," according to the affidavit.