News (USA)

Man sentenced for running extortion operation from behind prison bars

Man sentenced for running extortion operation from behind prison bars
Sean Siwek Photo: mugshot

A man who ran an extortion operation from behind bars in Oklahoma has been sentenced to time served.

Sean Siwek, 34, was serving time in a state prison for multiple assault and robbery charges from 2010 to 2012 when he was running an extortion scam that robbed closeted gay and bisexual men out of over $130,000.

Siwek and other prisoners smuggled cell phones into prison and used them to create accounts on voice-based cruising sites, where they posed as sex workers seeking encounters “with men who were either married or had girlfriends,” investigators said.

After one of the prisoners and the victim arranged to meet for sex, Siwek would call the victim back and say that he was a police officer and that the victim would be prosecuted for agreeing to have sex with a minor.

“In certain instances, they even pretended to be a parent and said the victims had contacted a minor and they had to pay or be exposed,” prosecutor Sanford Coats told NewsChannel 4 in 2014, when Siwek was indicted.

At least six victims ended up paying Siwek, using prepaid debit cards to send thousands of dollars.

Court records describe one instance of the scam, where Siwek made an ad saying he was 24, living in Ohio, and was named “Devon Jones.” After agreeing to meet the victim, he called back pretending to be Devon Jones’s father and told the victim that he had agreed to have sex with his 15-year-old son, demanding $1000 to supposedly run a background check on the victim.

He then pretended to be FBI “Special Agent Ron Sanders” and demanded money to bribe a judge to keep the investigation quiet. This victim sent Siwek almost $86,000.

Siwek pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sentenced yesterday to time served and probation when released. He is set to stay in prison until 2026. He must also pay around $125,000 in restitution to the victims.

“If someone contacts you and claims to be law enforcement and wants money to avoid prosecution, that’s a fraud,” Coats said.

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