- A man who said he was a sorcerer would perform rituals to help clients find love.
- Along with his associates at Amarres Inmediatos, Ariel Boiteux, the “sorcerer,” would ask clients to record themselves while they drank alcohol, recited “sexually explicit incantations,” and performed sexual deeds, according to court documents.
- He would threaten to expose his clients if they did not pay “large sums of money,” according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
- The company reportedly victimized over 200 people around the world in places like the US, Mexico, Peru, and Switzerland through Facebook, Instagram, and MercadoLibre, which is comparable to Craigslist.
- On Monday, Boiteux was sentenced to two years in prison for the “witchcraft extortion scheme.”
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An Argentinian man, who said he was a sorcerer, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty last year in a “witchcraft extortion scheme,” according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
The man behind the so-called “magic” was Ariel Boiteux, and through his Paraguay-based business Amarres Inmediatos claimed to help clients perform rituals and spells that would supposedly improve their love lives. Clients would often learn about the services, which included “casting spells designed to foster romantic relationships” on Facebook, Instagram, and MercadoLibre (which is comparable to Craigslist).
Once committed, clients would be given a list of things needed for the ritual, often including items like candles, alcohol, vegetables, and photographs, according to the US Attorney’s Office Southern District of California.
The ritual itself would be conducted remotely and recorded; it would then be sent to Boiteux and Amarres Inmediatos. The clients would record themselves as they drank alcohol, recited “sexually explicit incantations,” and performed sexual deeds, according to court documents.
Boiteux did not use the videos to help clients cast love spells as advertised, according to the US Attorney’s Office. Instead, he threatened to release the videos if they did not pay him “large sums of money.”
“This was a despicable scheme that preyed upon people who put their trust in a phony,” US Attorney Robert Brewer said in a press release. “This defendant used the vulnerability of the lovelorn to humiliate and extort them, and for that he will pay a price.”
He was extradited to the US in July of 2018 and pleaded guilty in December of that same year. Three other suspects were also arrested, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Boiteux victimized over 200 people around the world in places like the US, Mexico, Peru, and Switzerland.
According to a plea agreement reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Boiteux carefully chose his victims. One was a public figure, who is not identified. According to the Los Angeles Times, Boiteux demanded $US7,200 from the person and ultimately received a transfer via Western Union in February 2017. He attempted to extort up to $US250,000 from the public figure, threatening to release ritual recordings.
According to the Washington Post, Boiteux and Amarres Inmediatos began their online business in 2015, and found there was an interest in “amarres de amor,” or “moorings of love.”
Boiteux, who has been described as a “computer expert,” capitalised on that interest in order to create the perfect storm of a scheme.
It lasted until 2017, when an undercover agent from Homeland Security Investigations called the phone number on Amarres Inmediatos’s website, asking to purchase another victim’s recording that had been previously shared online in a different extortion attempt.
When Boiteux went to pick up the wire transfer from the HSI officer, he was arrested by Paraguayan police.
He was tried in San Diego, and on Monday, he was sentenced two years in federal prison – the maximum sentence. According to the Union-Tribune, Boiteux said in court that he is “very remorseful” for his actions.
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