Florida Couple Sentenced for Cyberstalking, Extortion
A Florida couple was recently sentenced to just under four years in prison for cyberstalking and extorting money from multiple people, including a judge. The 31-year-old woman and 32-year-old woman from Homestead are each facing four counts of cyberstalking and one count of attempted extortion. They have been sentenced to 46 months in prison, to the relief of their victims. The couple will also be under three years of supervised release once they complete their prison time.
The couple threatened Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tammy O’Brien, her ex-husband, and their son, as well as another Summit County elected official, an FBI agent, the Richfield police chief, and a Richfield detective. In addition, the two targeted the victims’ family members and business associates through hundreds of emails, social media posts, and phone calls.
The man expressed remorse at the sentencing hearing. This was his first encounter with the law. The woman also had no prior criminal history, although she had a rough childhood and grew up as a constant victim of crime.
O’Brien found it “very strange” to be in court and see the two people who had victimized her and her family for the first time. She had never met or even spoken to the couple, but she was greatly affected by them, as they had terrorized her family for several years. She is relieved that the harassment is over.
The harassment allegedly began over the woman’s brief relationship with O’Brien’s ex-husband. The woman claimed the ex-husband had gotten her pregnant. The couple demanded as much as $20,000, even though the baby had allegedly been stillborn.
The couple would communicate with victims primarily through email at least weekly and sometimes even daily. The communications were sent for about two years, until the man was arrested in July 2022. The woman was indicted the following month.
The claims that the couple launched against O’Brien and her ex-husband were proven to be untrue. The FBI sent the couple a cease-and-desist letter in January 2022, but they ignored it. In fact, the communications became more threatening, with the couple threatening victims with their lives.
Contact a Legal Professional for Help
People need to be mindful of what they do while at a computer keyboard. Threatening and harassing people and asking them for money is wrong and those caught will be punished.
The laws involving computer crimes can be technical and complicated. Get the help you need from a Florida computer & internet crime lawyer from the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit. Call (352) 505-1799 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation with our office.