back to article 'Crazy' man cuffed for plotting cyber extortion scheme

A California man was charged with extortion after he allegedly threatened to send millions of emails and social networking messages that maligned a large life insurance company unless he was paid almost $200,000. Anthony Digati, 52, of Chino, California, was arrested and charged with a single felony count of extortion through …


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Anonymous Coward

first rule of cyber stalking

The first rule of cyber stalking is not to send them your real name and contact details.

"The allegations, contained in court documents unsealed Monday, offer a glimpse into the capabilities of modern-day blackmailers"

According to Digati letter of complaint, the insurance company bilked him out of a refund on a policy they sold him. The terms of which would have been indded incomphrehensible to ordinary mortals. I wonder is the $198,303.88 the exact amount of the policy.

I woudn't get too bend out of shape over Digatis actions. After all they were directed at a bunch of lawyers, the real criminals sit in board rooms.


What blackmail

It sounds like he was just trying to get his point across and threatening to tell people about lousy service is free speech isn't it?

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It's blackmail...

because he asked for money to keep the secret. If he'd just ruined their reputation with the truth, he'd be in the clear.

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Paris Hilton


Title says it all really. How could he think that he would get away with it?

Even Paris would not.


Sounds bipolarish to me

A very good manic run at that.


It will be interesting to see how this plays out

From what I have been able to gather, this guy isn't your normal run-of-the-mill wacko. He apparently owns multiple companies, is involved in venture funding, and may even be a former employee of New York Life.

He made an investment with New York Life that didn't live up to promises - like most investments over the last couple of years he probably lost money. He demands that they return the money that he invested. They refuse. He then says that he will say unflattering things about them in a very public way and that millions of people will hear about it unless they return his money (with triple damages, down to the penny).

He was right. Now instead of a drop-in-the-bucket spam campaign, thousands of news websites around the world have picked up the story. My guess is that he was rather careful with his comments and didn't publish anything that wasn't true.

All that has to happen now is for a pre-arrest copy of his website be "leaked" to Wikileaks or similar and every news agency in the world will be linking to it and distributing it further. Since someone has probably cached or copied it, he doesn't even have to do it himself.

According to the FBI, the reason they moved forward is that the amount of money that he demanded was larger than the alleged grievance - not that he had threatened to send a bunch of spam. After all, they couldn't charge him with violating the can-spam act if he hadn't gotten around to sending anything.

It almost seems like he planned it this way, taunting them and daring them to take the bait. Now we will see if they can swallow it, or whether he has caught himself in his own trap.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I personally have multiple investments with New York Life. My NYL adviser was very clear on the risks involved when I signed up, and I had to sign statements showing that I had read the disclosures. I'm sure that he signed similar paperwork, whether he remembers it or not. He probably doesn't have a leg to stand on as far as getting his money back -- unless he has some incriminating document promising something that should never have been promised.

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