As one of a select few attorneys with practical experience protecting victims of Blackmail and Extortion both online and off, and a lawyer with real-world experience prosecuting these same perpetrators, I am routinely asked how to stop Sextortion on Instagram, what a person can do about Sextortion on Facebook, and if there is a way to put an end to social media Blackmail where intimate images have been weaponized by a former “friend”, real or fake. Unfortunately for online victims, especially teens sextorted on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Reddit, WhatsApp, and even TikTok, the fear of humiliation and exposure is all consuming. Fortunately, however, with the right guidance and counsel, there is an out and a means to close the door on what is likely the most traumatizing experience of your and their life.
In two back-to-back cases involving extorters blackmailing their targets from outside New York State, one of whom was abroad, Saland Law’s Jeremy Saland, along with Sage Intelligence Group’s Herman Weisberg, shut down callously selfish harassers from syphoning more money from our clients after these victims wizened up and retained the “‘A-Team’ of ex-lawmen extracting victims from blackmail ploys”. Beyond putting an end to their thieving ways, both bad guys, yes, men posing as women, licked their wounds and profusely apologized for the error of their ways after being ferreted out from their wrongfully presumed shadowed corner of the internet. Very simply, upon being confronted with the grave consequences of their actions no matter where they hid, these men made it overwhelmingly clear, and repeatedly so, that their threats and demands were no more.
While it is not atypical for a victim of Extortion, Blackmail, Sextortion, or some other fraud scheme to summon the courage and fortitude to stand up to the campaign of terror waged by his or her abuser, there is a reason you do not hear much about these extortees turning to law enforcement out of concern of the obvious: what embarrassed or humiliated them so much, true or not, will ultimately find its way into the public arena. That said, similar to a catfishing Blackmail matter I brought on behalf of a victim to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that resulted in the extortee’s indictment, conviction, and incarceration for scheming our client and other men she met on an online adult site, Damian Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District Of New York, along with the FBI, announced the indictment of Sakoya Blackwood for Catfishing, Sextortion, and Blackmail. Like the case referenced above, it is alleged Blackwood targeted high net worth men with public profiles in order to maximize her ill gotten gains.
Already recognized as part of the Extortion fixing “A-Team” by the NY Daily News, I was grateful Business Insider further highlighted my Blackmail protection work with Sage Intelligence Group’s Herman Weisberg. To that end, I appreciated their recognition that Saland Law, along with Sage Intelligence, is a leader and “gold standard” among a very small and finite number of attorneys and investigators in New York, and elsewhere, possessing both the legal foundation and hands-on experience to ethically extinguish these violative shakedowns. Safeguarding CEOs, hedge funders, private equity partners, Big Law attorneys, top physicians, celebrities, and media personalities from Extortion, Sextortion, Blackmail, Revenge Porn, and Stalking, and doing so within the four corners of the law, is not a job left to green attorneys or those with enough knowledge to endanger their clients. Unfortunately, as many an extortee learns far too late, once mistakes are made, whether by a blackmailee or their lawyer, those missteps are often as indelible as the regret that shadows them in perpetuity. That is why it is no surprise that many victims of these schemes retain Jeremy Saland and Saland Law to end the illegal money grab and relentless threats of personal, financial, familial, and career decimation that stalk them.
Little did I know that after prosecuting three men for blackmailing former NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony all the way back in 2004-2006 during my days as a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, that my experience leading that investigation into Grand Larceny by Extortion would become the catalyst to develop a niche practice representing Extortion, Blackmail, Sextortion, Stalking, Harassment, and Revenge Porn, victims. Whether as a “fixer” handling cases outside the criminal justice system due to a client’s desire to keep matters private and from the public eye, and always within the four corners of the law, or presenting our cases “pre-packaged” to prosecutors leading to an indictment and even incarceration, having the knowledge and legal foundation to pursue these matters discretely has provided both emotional and financial relief to literally dozens upon dozens of clients over the years. In fact, in the past week and a half alone I have assisted three individuals, two of whom collectively paid out north of $60,000.00 to their extorters before contacting me, and another who, with his parents, reached out to Saland Law, PC before his life went sideways.
It is incredibly frighting to find yourself the target of Blackmail, Extortion, or Coercion in New York City or anywhere inside or outside the Empire State. Whether you’ve done something wrong or not, when a harasser demands property – usually money – or that you engage in behavior you otherwise need not, fear can drive your decision-making process to a ruinous end. After all, should you fail to acquiesce, your attacker will make good on his or her threat to obliterate your life or career through humiliation, misrepresentations, or even something far worse. As Extortion lawyers and victim advocates protecting men and women from Blackmail, Stalking, Harassment and other defamatory type assaults, the attorneys at Saland Law PC have dealt with and quashed these real-life scenarios firsthand.