"I want to applaud the FBI's work on this case," said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. "The FBI worked diligently, and in association with Aruban authorities, to investigate and gather evidence in this matter. ... Because of the agents' dedicated efforts, we are able to bring charges against someone who sought profit in a mother's grief."
Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama, disappeared on a trip to Aruba in 2005. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot, who was then living in Aruba. Her body has never been found.
The alleged extortion plot, which is detailed in the two-count indictment, began in March, when van der Sloot reportedly agreed to provide Beth Holloway with details on her daughter's death and the location of her body in exchange for $250,000.
When this was reported to authorities, they were skeptical that any new details would be obtained. However, they realized that once van der Sloot accepted the money, he could be charged and extradited back to the U.S.
As a result, a Holloway family attorney, working with the FBI, provided van der Sloot with an initial payment of $10,000 in cash and wired him an additional $15,000. Beth Holloway was to pay the remaining $225,000 to van der Sloot upon confirmation of her daughter's remains.
Van der Sloot kept the $25,000, but later confirmed by e-mail that the information he had provided was "worthless," according to the indictment.
As authorities continued to build their case, van der Sloot used the $25,000 to fund a trip to play in a poker tournament in Peru. It was there, on June 2, that 21-year-old Stephany Flores was found dead in van der Sloot's hotel room in Lima, setting off a police manhunt that ended with his arrest in Chile on June 3.
The Dutchman has since been charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the Flores case. He is being held at Miguel Castro Castro, a maximum-security prison on the outskirts of Lima, pending trial. If convicted, he faces 15 to 35 years in prison.
The wire fraud and extortion indictment handed down today seeks forfeiture of the money van der Sloot allegedly received.
Van der Sloot's attorney, Maximo Altez, has not yet commented on this latest development.