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Lawyer, 81, cleared in client’s extortion plot

NEW YORK CITY — An 81-year-old New York lawyer has been acquitted of all criminal charges after being accused of helping an attempt to shake down a client’s wealthy son-in-law for $11 million.

Jurors cleared Stuart A. Jackson on Tuesday of grand larceny and other charges.

Manhattan prosecutors say he wrote letters and held meetings to help client Stuart R. Ross’ extract money from Ross’ daughter’s husband. Ross pleaded guilty in August to attempted grand larceny and admitted threatening to ruin his son-in-law’s career if he didn’t pay.

Jackson’s attorney says Jackson never knew about any such threats and just represented Ross in trying to reach lawful goals.

Ross once owned certain rights to the Smurfs cartoon characters. His lawyer has said Ross may try to withdraw his guilty plea.