I was the financial controller for a home security company. During the course of my employment I discovered that the owner/CEO of the company had a felony record. This information had been carefully concealed. He fired me when I tried to discuss my findings with him.
The company's legal council then presented me with a proposed severance agreement that stipulated I not approach legal authorities or consumer protection agencies with my findings. We negotiated but were unable to come to terms. The company then threatened to publish unflattering personal information about me if I ever came forward.
Could I be guilty of extortion for attempting to negotiate an agreement that bound me to silence despite my knowledge of a potentially illegal situation?