Washington Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking Campaign

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that a Seattle, Washington man has pleaded guilty to conducting cyberstalking and threat campaigns against multiple individuals.

“.. [The] guilty plea demonstrates that conduct occurring online can cause victims serious harm and anguish offline,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “While this prosecution cannot undo the damage this defendant inflicted, it sends a clear message that the Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners are firmly committed to protecting the public and aggressively pursuing malicious actors who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.”

“This defendant thought he could use a computer keyboard to stalk and harass others with remarkable cruelty — all while hiding in the shadows.  He could not have been more wrong,” said U.S. Attorney Hayes.  “Conduct that we all know is wrong in the real world, is just as wrong in cyberspace and will be punished accordingly.”

The defendant – a former Information Technology professional – was charged in a felony information with two counts of cyberstalking.  According to admissions made in connection with his plea, the defendant engaged in an extensive and rapidly escalating cyberstalking campaign that targeted two individuals he knew.  The online campaign involved, inter alia, death threats, body shaming and hate speech.

According to the DOJ, staring in early 2017, the defendant orchestrated numerous spam phone calls to one victim, thereafter escalating to bogus dating profiles containing photographs and contact information of the victim.  The defendant also admitted that he began registering a second victim in weight loss and suicide prevention programs.

The Justice Department encourages individuals who may be the victims to contact their local law enforcement agencies to report this type of conduct.

Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Always seek the advice of an attorney. Previous case results do not guarantee similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35th Floor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.

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Richard B. Newman is a nationally recognized FTC advertising compliance, CID investigation and regulatory enforcemetn attorney. He regularly provides advertising counsel and represents clients in high-profile investigations and enforcement proceedings initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, departments of consumer affairs, and other federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over advertising and marketing practices. Richard is also an ecommerce lawyer and spam defense attorney. His practice additionally focuses upon false advertising defense, data privacy, cybersquatting, intellectual property law and transactional matters relating to the dissemination of national advertising campaigns, including the gamut of affiliate marketing, telemarketing, lead generation, list management and licensing agreements. Richard advises clients on how to minimize the legal risks associated with digital marketing, email marketing, telemarketing, social media influencer campaigns, endorsements and testimonials, negative option marketing models, native advertising, online promotions and comparative advertising,

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