3 charged in alleged plot to extort $20 million from Saudi sheik

A woman accused of falsely claiming she was sexually assaulted and tortured by a Saudi sheik’s son in Los Angeles was charged Monday with conspiracy to extort one of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia of $20 million, prosecutors said.

Leyla Ors, a 34-year-old German national who was a personal assistant to the sheik’s son, is accused of luring the Sheik’s son into a relationship and then going to authorities with false allegations of rape and torture.

Along with Ors, who authorities allege intentionally burned her arm with a cigarette to support her accusations, Orange County attorneys Joe Cavallo and Emanuel Karl Hudson have been charged with attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy to receive a bribe and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Ors in March reported to police detectives that she had been raped and tortured by Thamer Albalwi, the 23-year-old son of one of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mansour Albalwi, according to authorities. After an investigation and based on a physical exam and visible injuries, Thamer Albalwi was charged March 13 with four counts of sexual assault at his condominium in L.A. She alleged he beat her, raped her and burned her with a cigarette while keeping her prison in the apartment. On Friday, Judge James Dabney dismissed the sexual assault case against Albalwi, who had been released on $3-million bail.

But last month, authorities allege, Hudson, one of the attorneys charged in the case, spoke by phone with Albalwi’s father and told him that for $15 million, Ors would not testify against the son and “the case would be over.” That same day, Cavallo spoke by phone with the sheik and said that the demand was $20 million and that Hudson would set up an account in Switzerland, according to authorities.


Attorneys for the Albalwi family contacted authorities, and the Los Angeles Police Department began investigating.

Ors, Cavallo and Hudson were arrested Thursday by the LAPD after Ors returned to the U.S. believing she was going to testify. Ors, who remains in custody, is due to appear in court Monday. Cavallo and Hudson are free on $50,000 bond.

Follow Southern California crime @lacrimes.