The FBI, working with the US Attorneys Office in Manhattan announced yesterday that Anthony Digati was arrested for trying to extort $200,000 from New York Life.
That’s a fairly run-of-the-mill number, but it’s the wa Digati went about it that is interesting, and basically guaranteed he would get caught.
According to the FBI press release, Digati sent “more than a dozen” employees of the insurance company an email signed with his own name and reading, “I HIGHLY suggest you visit this website and contact me afterwards.”
When one went to the Web site, the press release goes on, they found the following:
- These things, unless you honour the below claim, WILL HAPPEN on March 8, 2010.
- As you have denied my claim I can only respond in this way. You no longer have a choice in the matter, unless of course you want me to continue with this outlined plan. I have nothing to lose, you have everything to lose.
- My demand is now for $198,303.88. This amount is NOT negotiable, you had your chance to make me an offer, now I call the shots.
- I have 6 MILLION e-mails going out to couples with children age 25-40, this e-mail campaign is ordered and paid for. 2 million go out on the 8th and every two days 2 million more for three weeks rotating the list. Of course it is spam, I hired a spam service, I could care less, The damage [sic] will be done.
- I am a huge social networker, and I am highly experienced. 200,000 people will be directly contacted by me through social networks, slamming your integrity and directing them to this website within days.
- I think you get the idea, I am going to drag your company name and reputation, through the muddiest waters imaginable. This will cost you millions in lost revenues, trust and credibility not to mention the advertising you will be buying to counter mine. Sad thing is it’s almost free for me!
- The process is in motion and will be released on March 8th, 2010. If you delay and the site goes live, The price will then be $3,000,000.00.
Not surprisingly, New York Life contacted the police.
Digati was upset, the New York Daily News reported, because he had paid more than $50,000 for a variable life insurance policy and wanted a fourfold return. When they denied his claim, he allegedly retaliated this way.
He faces a maximum of two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
This really was just a bad idea. We do not recommend filing frivolous lawsuits (how much of a “claim” Digati had on his variable life insurance policy, we do not know), but a lawsuit would at least been a better idea than this. There’s a chance they would have settled with him. And no matter what, the most he would be facing would be sanctions, not jail time.
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