Woman convicted in Pitino extortion files appeal

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The woman convicted of trying to extort University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has asked a federal appeals court to overturn her conviction and seven-year prison sentence.

Attorneys for 51-year-old Karen Cunagin Sypher filed a brief with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday night, claiming a broad conspiracy involving Pitino, the federal trial judge and Sypher's former attorney to ensure she would be found guilty.

U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson of Louisville previously rejected those claims.

A jury convicted Sypher of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliation against a witness. Prosecutors said she sought millions in cash, cars and a house from Pitino to stay quiet about a tryst in a Louisville restaurant.

Sypher is currently in a federal prison in Marianna, Fla.