Uncle fathered baby and other untrue tales from family feud

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In some ways, the convoluted back-story that led to a Columbia couple and their daughter being jailed earlier this week reads like an over-the-top soap opera — but it's so much more pathetic.

That's because Connie Strickland — with help from her husband, Clyde Strickland, and their daughter, Samantha Strickland — accused her millionaire brother of molesting Samantha Strickland and fathering her 6-year-old daughter in what police say was a plot to extort more than $1 million.

Florida authorities charged each of the Stricklands with extortion. They were arrested last week in Richland County and are now free on bond from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department also charged Samantha Strickland, 26, with filing a false police report detailing allegations of sexual abuse by her uncle, Don Wallace — a 59-year-old philanthropist and owner of Lazydays RV SuperCenter near Tampa, Fla.

"He's very hurt over this thing, because it's his sister," said Barry Cohen, Wallace's attorney.

For an attempt to extort money from someone, the story is remarkably well-documented. The account that follows is based largely on a blizzard of paperwork: e-mails shot back and forth among the parties, sworn affidavits signed by all the parties, police reports — even certified letters from both the South Carolina and Florida secretaries of state.

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