A self-described "hillbilly millionaire" has agreed to plead guilty in a scheme to extort money from the company that manages the Y-12 nuclear complex.
Adam Winters, a recent participant in the Bravo Channel's "Millionaire Matchmaker" show, has formally accepted a deal to plead guilty to one charge of attempted extortion of Babcock and Wilcox, the government contractor that operates the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons site, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported on Tuesday.
Under the terms of the plea bargain, the federal government has agreed to not pursue a prison sentence longer than six months.
Winters was apprehended in May after allegedly demanding $2.5 million from an individual he thought to be a company official but who was actually an undercover agent with the Energy Department inspector general's office. Winters allegedly wanted hush money to keep from going public with what he said were hundreds of decades-old slides that depicted animals being deliberately exposed to harmful radiation.
In the early 1990s it was widely reported that some of Winters' relatives had sought money from both the media and the government for a set of 1,200 slides produced as far back as the 1940s. The slides were reportedly inadvertently sold at a surplus auction. An Energy Department spokesman said the agency refused to pay money to get the slides back.
Winters brought a number of slides to the sting operation when he was arrested. Court records do not describe exactly what was depicted in the slides.
This past winter, the 25-year-old Tennessee resident appeared on "Millionaire Matchmaker," a show that promises to organize successful dates for wealthy individuals who say they have difficulty dating. In a submission video for the show, Winters described himself as "more sophisticated than the Beverly Hillbillies, just because when I ride a dirt bike, I rock Prada and my Ray-bans."
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.