Indianapolis man sentenced to 3 years in catfishing and extortion scheme
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis man posed as a teenage girl on social media, solicited sexually explicit photos from men and then blackmailed them for thousands of dollars, according to the Marion County Prosecutor Office.
Prosecutor Terry Curry says the man, 55-year-old Richard Brown, would use another false identity to extort the senders to make the payments under the threat of releasing the images.
On multiple occasions, Curry says Brown would pose as a law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney and threaten to arrest or prosecute an individual unless they made payments.
Between March 2016 and November 2017, investigators with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and prosecutor’s office learned Brown preyed on nine individuals from six states, between March 2016 and November 2017.
In one incident, an individual made 83 separate payments to Brown for a total of $4,150. Altogether, prosecutors say Brown extorted more than $12,000 from the men.
As a result of an investigation, Brown was charged with corrupt business influence in May. Friday, Prosecutor Terry Curry announced that Brown pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Pursuant to his plea agreement, Brown has also been ordered to pay $11,830 in restitution to the victims and he shall not access the internet or social media for the duration of his sentence.