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David Hans Schmidt, aka the Sultan of Sleaze, has made a career out of brokering celebrity smut to the highest bidder. Without him, that storage locker of Paris Hilton's repossessed personal effects would never have found its way online, thereby forever denying the world her racist renditions of popular disco songs and pictures of Cisco Adler's improbably oversized testicles. But Schmidt was operating in a different league when he went after Tom Cruise, offering to sell back the happily married actor a stash of stolen wedding photos for $1 million. From The Smoking Gun:

David Hans Schmidt, 47, was nabbed Tuesday by FBI agents and is currently being held at the federal detention center in L.A.. He allegedly tried to sell Cruise a large cache of private photos from the actor's November 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes. Schmidt sought more than $1 million for the wedding photos, which were stolen from the actor, said Bert Fields, a Cruise lawyer.

Fields told TSG that Schmidt approached Cruise's representatives earlier this year about the purloined photos and that the actor's camp immediately called the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office. From that point, Fields said, the matter was handled by federal investigators (presumably with some working in an undercover capacity).

Schmidt's main mistake—beyond underestimating Scary Hollywood Lawyer Bertram Fields, who has the FBI on speed dial button marked "T.C. Extortion Plot Hotline"—was in his inflated appraisal of the photos' value in the first place. $1 million for shots of the sweat-soaked groom doing the Chicken Dance at his own nuptials seems grossly overpriced—it's not as if the Sultan had discovered a videotape from the reception of the proud new dad unscrewing his daughter's face-plate and showing the android-baby's advanced infant-simulation circuitry to an amazed Will Smith, then promising his pal that if he and Jada felt like making an addition to their family, he could get them their own Suri-bot at cost.