UFC’s White named as extortion victim in lawsuit

UFC president Dana White responded Saturday to a civil lawsuit filed against him by a man who went to prison for extortion, calling it a “bulls—” suit that he expected to be quickly dismissed.

Ernesto Joshua Ramos, a Las Vegas resident, is suing White for breach of contract. In the civil suit, filed Friday in Clark County (Nevada) District Court, he claims White broke an agreement that would have paid him $450,000 for not disclosing White’s name after Ramos’ 2015 extortion case closed.

Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company, was also named in the lawsuit filed Friday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to report the news.

“I just found out that a bulls— lawsuit was filed against me yesterday,” White said in a statement sent to the Review-Journal. “This guy went to federal prison for trying to extort me over five years ago. Now he’s hired a lawyer who is also a convicted felon, and he’s trying to extort me again for $10 million. He got no money from me last time and he won’t be getting any money from me this time. I look forward to the court dismissing this quickly so I can get rid of these scumbags forever.”

Ramos’ attorney, Ian Christopherson, served time in federal prison after being convicted in 2012 for tax evasion, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Ramos pleaded guilty in the 2015 federal criminal case after he was accused of attempting to get White to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sex tape White allegedly appeared in.

According to the civil suit, White appeared in a video having sex with Ramos’ live-in girlfriend, a dancer at a Las Vegas strip club, during an encounter in Brazil in October 2014. The stripper, whom the suit says White had been seeing over the course of several months, taped herself and White without White’s knowledge having sex in their hotel room, according to the suit.

After the overseas encounter, Ramos was arrested by FBI agents in January 2015 and charged with trying to extort $200,000 from an unnamed businessman, whom the civil suit says was White. Ramos served a 366-day sentence in federal prison following his guilty plea.

According to Ramos’ suit, there was a protective order on releasing White’s name until the conclusion of the 2015 case. Christopherson said Ramos was under the impression through White’s legal team that he would be able to negotiate a lucrative non-disclosure agreement after his guilty plea. But White reneged on the deal in April 2016, the suit said, after Ramos had already made his plea.

“The actions of White were fraudulent, oppressive and designed to encourage Ramos to plead guilty so he could negotiate a substantial settlement, which would prevent the disclosure of his actions at trial for the personal benefit of White and his related businesses and interest,” Christopherson writes in the complaint.

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