US attorney’s office charges man with extortion

A Tyngsborough man working for the Registry of Motor Vehicles and a fellow employee have been charged with extortion and mail fraud by the US attorney’s office in Boston. Simon Abou Raad and the co-worker, Mark LaFrance of Braintree, were charged in March with purchasing vehicle safety inspection licenses and equipment from local service station owners who no longer wanted to act as inspection stations, then reselling them at more than 10 times the cost to station owners looking to acquire licenses. In Massachusetts, inspection station licenses are granted through an application process on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each requires a $100 application fee, and equipment costs are estimated at about $2,500.