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Lawsuit alleges online extortion, a growing menace

Los Angeles (CNN) — The California man thought he put his past behind him, but then he became victim to an online scam associated more with the mafia than the Internet. He is alleging in a federal lawsuit that three websites are running an extortion racket preying on his history as a one-time registered sex offender.

The alleged shakedown is a growing trend in cyberspace that also includes “ransomware” — another extortion scheme that uses fake police and FBI warnings to demand money in exchange for unfreezing data on your computer, experts say. Full Article

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  1. G4Change

    For Janice, et al involved in this lawsuit. Did you see this guy’s comment on the CNN Website:

    He identified himself as Gordon Grainger. Maybe this info. can be helpful to your case. Maybe he can testify against these extortionists:

    “I will certainly comment on the FACTS about these web sites. I was COURT ORDERED off of the registry per Judge’s signature in the state of my conviction of Michigan; and under the Romeo & Juliet legislation which I was 19yrs old and girlfriend was 15yrs old, in 1995. That will lead the public to realize that I was not and am not a threat to society by any means.

    I am an accomplished legal student now with a GPA of 3.50. Have a very beautiful wife and a one year old child.

    The web sites being sued in this federal law suit (which I am not one of the plaintiffs in this suit), the main operator that resides in Arizona sent me taunting e-mails stating that if I do not deliver a public apology within 24hrs that he was going to place me in “special spots” that I would not want to be in. He also attached a picture of my infant son and placed family photo on the Sorarchives site as well as scraped my Facebook pictures and listed all 65 friends on this site.

    There is a pending defamation suit in Arizona from the members of these sites that is suing us for defending our families. Plaintiff claimed that we lied online about him having a felony conviction, however upon further investigation, this individual does have a felony conviction for fraud and was caught in the act by federal agents and then changed his name from what it was when arrested to what his last name is now. SO the thing is this, the plaintiff is using the court system to scare us into settling a quick win so they can get some money. Lo and behold they were willing to settle for $1,000 because they had stricken me with so much fear that I offered to settle under duress in order to eliminate the undue stress that this is causing my wife. However I refused to settle because this suit filed against us lacks any legal authority being that he even stated per recorded phone conversation that his attorney was going to come at us “very swift.”
    The perps of these sites need to be in prison for many of years because they are using criminal records for financial gain under the guise that they are protecting the public. What ever happened to “equal protection.? That is afforded to convicts and society as a whole. These web sites are not protecting the public, they are defrauding the public and also placing the offenders children in harms way. What if a vigilante looked on these retarded sites and wanted to do harm? Well I guess per all the defamatory comments that they add to your family pictures and falsified information, that these sites are actually endangering the welfare of offenders children.
    The FBI needs to act on this and make an arrest to all the owners/operators of these web sites in Arizona.”

  2. anon

    According to the Megan’s Law website:

    Legal and Illegal Uses: The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.

    That second sentence seems to be relevant, since posting a record that has been taken down and having your past offender picture and information pop up on a google search can be deemed harmful to an offender’s peace of mind, employment, etc.

  3. alert

    anon Good comment, except for limiting your complaint to posting a record that has been taken down
    Logically, anyone posting copies from the state’s permission protected web site to their own is guilty of a criminal misconduct against the state and reckless endangerment to RSOs and their families.
    Now the question is: will the states recognize and protect their RSO websites from criminal behavior, or not?

    • http404

      I wrote a letter of complaint to the AG’s office about one site a few years ago that was publishing California sex offender info. The site was called Zirana .com. Here is the response I received.
      ______________________________________________

      Dear ****,

      Thank you for your e-mail dated May 8, 2009, which you sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

      In your e-mail, you advise the DOJ that an alternate website is displaying sex offender information without a disclaimer page.

      Please be advised, the DOJ is only responsible for information displayed on the California Megan’s Law Internet site located at http://www.MegansLaw.ca.gov. Any alternate site displaying information is neither authorized or maintained by the DOJ.

      Therefore, we suggest you contact an alternate website directly, if you feel they are providing incorrect or illegal information on registered sex offenders. We also recommend you contact a civil attorney if you feel the alternate website is displaying information that may violate a subject’s civil rights.

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      • Eric Knight

        That is NOT acceptable. This is a violation of the actual CRIMINAL code of PC290 which MUST be followed up by the Attorney General’s office, or any of the law enforcement branches in California that it authorizes. A civil complaint may be pursued, but that is a completely separate issue. I’m sure Janice would verify the issue here, and that you keep this email for further review and have Kammy start ‘splainin’ this one in detail.

        • Anonymouse

          @Eric Knight – if you start with violations of the actual Penal Code by the DOJ, how about PC 290.46(a)(2)(A). It is 2013. Where are the dates? What then is the meaning of “shall”? Whenever we get to it?

          PC 290.46(a)(2)(A) On or before July 1, 2010, the Department of Justice shall make available to the public, via an Internet Web site as specified in this section, as to any person described in subdivision (b), (c), or (d), the following information:
          (i) The year of conviction of his or her most recent offense requiring registration pursuant to Section 290.
          (ii) The year he or she was released from incarceration for that offense.
          (iii) Whether he or she was subsequently incarcerated for any other felony,

  4. alert

    Regarding your informative reply http404.
    Apparently the Department of Justice (DOJ) didn’t recognize a need to enforce their authority over illegal use of their website.
    If and when a lawsuit is brought against the state for failure to administer their civic duty to RSOs and their families, they may decide differently.
    Their response to your letter reeks of irresponsibility and lack of professionalism.
    I only hope that the decision for them to act responsibly doesn’t come after a preventable tragedy.

  5. J

    The language in CA’s law indicates it is unlawful to use this information to harass etc. The language is in their, but certainly taking action on this seems to be at the bottom of the list. Until more states take criminal actions against those who harass registrants will anything happen. From the response you got, it looks like they want to steer it away from themselves toward a civil matter. This gets them out from owning up to any problems from what I can tell and it reinforces the public’s perception that it is OK to do whatever they to us. This in essence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Very similar to the stocks used in the middle ages and early America – in essence an electronic version.

  6. alert

    From Pennsylvania’s Megan web site: Any person who uses the information contained herein to threaten, intimidate, or harass the registrant or their family, or who otherwise misuses this information, may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability.
    Clearly, this public information source is only designed to allow access to folks who are looking to safeguard themselves and their families from sexual predators.
    I’m not aware of the disclaimers from each state but it seems reasonable to assume they are very similar.
    For immoral and illegal websites to misuse this privileged information is beneath contempt; therefore, it seems as though the plaintiffs in this civil suit should have a cake walk in winning a civil judgement and or a restraining order against these offending sites.
    My best to them in their quest for justice.

  7. Eric Knight

    The answer, of course, is to file a separate and detailed complaint for EACH violation. This is even true of website postings which promote harassment. Flooding the coffers with complaints will at least get some action going.

  8. Bill (with a capital G)

    Well…the fire grows.
    But listen to me, and listen well. Because I have been in this fight for more than forty years,
    And believe me, I know the enemy.

    First: The American people are in a civil war. Actually, they are in several at the same time. They are terrorized and frantic. The economy is a shamble, the security of the family is a joke, trust in the elected government is long lost and faith in their common heritage is a cartoon-show tilted at whatever minority group has the spotlight today.

    Second: In order to create a popular ground-swell of opinion, a common enemy has to be created. Now, everybody has a big-old problem with sex; either you love it or you hate it or you don’t give a damn. If you love it, you’re part of the problem. If you hate it, you’re part of the problem…if you don’t give a damn, so what?
    So the terrorist agenda pits the State against those who either love it or hate it. If you love it, you have to sign onto the LGBT agenda but if you hate it, you have to have an enemy to vent your spleen against.

    I give you Registered Sex Offenders.

    Now back off a little and think about the depth of the problem.
    We’re dealing with state-sponsored hatred; defined in statute and actively enforced by whatever petty police person who happens to come along intoxicated with her own cheap power and trying in vain to rid herself of the memory of her own rape at the hand of a close relative.

    We need to rise above the rhetoric. We are charged with finding a solution to a problem as old as civilization and our lives and freedoms hang in the balance.

    Remember: Nobody cares about you. You are a SEX Offender! and they are very, very confused about sex.

  9. Ranon

    WOW!!! Georgia bill cleared senate regarding commercial mugshots!!! They’ll be forced to take down cleared people without charge:

    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2013/04/ga-commercial-mug-shot-bill-clears-ga.html#.UV8v3pPvspg

    http://www.11alive.com/news/article/285175/40/Commercial-mug-shot-bill-clears-Ga-Senate

  10. Virginia Z. Hall

    Found another one which is providing “criminal info” for a fee. These boneheads claim “87% of registered sex offenders will commit another crime” and offer to obtain, for a fee, arrest affidavits/charging documents and case disposition documents. Awful site which does not allow public comment and clearly thrives on pushing people’s fear buttons. http://bustedgrid.com/ and http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10597836.htm (regardig addition of Hawaii SOR)

    • alert

      87% must be true; I don’t think they’re allowed to lie on the internet.
      It’s amazing how many bottom feeders are able to capitalize on criminals and their victims. Alarming photos and videos available after these commercials. Beware some of these images are explicit!

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