Woman convicted in Pitino extortion files appeal

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.