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Update: Burbank officer makes bail, leaves federal custody

October 19, 2013
  • Burbank Police officer Anthony Valento leaves the Roybal Federal building in Los Angeles on
Burbank Police officer Anthony Valento leaves the Roybal… (Roger Wilson/Staff…)

A Burbank police officer and his girlfriend were released from federal custody Wednesday following their arrests on charges of lying to federal authorities during an investigation into an alleged extortion scheme involving the woman and her estranged husband.

The officer, Anthony Valento, 42, and his girlfriend, Gayle Bassett, 30 — who are both married with children — are accused of lying to the FBI during an investigation of the alleged extortion plot against Bassett’s husband, Jeremy Bassett. Gayle Bassett has filed for divorce, while Anthony Valento's wife stated in court documents that she is in the process of doing so.

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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story said both the Valentos and Bassetts are engaged in divorce procedings. In fact, only the Bassets are. The current version also clarifies the charges. 

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On Wednesday, a judge ordered Valento and Gayle Bassett to stay out of contact with each other, as well as with Jeremy Bassett. 

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The pair are due back in court next month. Federal prosecutors have not ruled out filing additional charges, an FBI spokesperson said. 

Both Valento and Gayle Bassett told the FBI in August they were not dating or living together, though the investigation revealed otherwise, court documents stated. According to the documents, Valento supports Gayle Bassett — who works as a cycling instructor at a spin studio — and her children financially. 

Valento reportedly paid for her breast augmentation procedure, her daughter’s dental appointment, and co-signed a lease with her on a Kia Sorento SUV. 

A 17-year veteran of the Burbank Police Department, Valento allegedly told Jeremy Bassett in April that if he paid Gayle Bassett more than $100,000, Valento could get pending domestic violence charges against him reduced or dropped, according to a federal criminal complaint and affidavit.

Jeremy Bassett’s pending criminal case stems from a September 2012 incident in which he allegedly threw a bottle at Gayle Bassett, choked her and threw her to the ground, the document said. 

On July 25, Jeremy Bassett reported the alleged extortion to the FBI and agreed to record a series of conversations between himself and the couple.

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