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.
Types of Harassment: Extortion to Stalking & Everything in Between
Because these frauds present themselves in a variety of ways, the below examples generically touch on some of the more common means blackmailers and harassers peddle their crimes. Although it provides some color, by no means is this a recitation of all scenarios a victim may face nor those where Saland Law provides our protection services.
The Classic Blackmailer
Most extorters are scorned lovers, jealous former partners, secret “side pieces”, pay-to-play professionals, or one-night hookups – professional, random, and even calculating scammers. Maybe they have pictures, messages, or are armed with some damaging information and they are not afraid to use it. These are the classic extorters that splash across the tabloids, movies are made about, and sometimes bunnies are burned. Whether or not there is civil recourse for a client in the form of a lawsuit for defamation, libel, or slander, most clients prioritize their privacy and want to avoid having to take this step. Though they are willing to commence an action for damages should a harasser push too far or go to Family Court for an Order of Protection, it is more common to leverage the fact that an extorter, sextorter, or stalker has repeatedly run afoul of the criminal law even without filing a criminal complaint. Whether the New York State Penal Law or United States Code, the texts, voice messages, emails, and other forms of communication all memorialize the malfeasor’s repeat offenses. Much to a blackmailer’s surprise, the long arm of the law can knock on their door in New York, throughout the United States, and, as we have done, even abroad.
The Online Catfishing Predator
Distinct from and arguably more vile than the above scenario, children and adults are “catfished” online, the former being the most vulnerable. In these situations, the party on the other end of the internet may pose as a particular gender, purport to live nearby, or pretend to be a contemporary. To that end, a teen, believing he is chatting with a girl his age, shares his intimate pictures or X-rated images with a child predator on Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, WhatsApp, or through any other means after meeting on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, for example. Similarly, adults meet their abuser on Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, Seeking Arrangement, or Match. Ultimately, even if the parties never meet, armed with pictures, access to friend lists and contacts on social media, and with enough personal information to identify their victim, the threats and demands rain down as the child victim or other sextortee panics in a dangerously self-destructive manner.
The Relentless Stalking Harasser
Outside of situations where there are demands for money, it is routine to find people in similar relationships or situations where instead of trying to fatten their bank account, their stalker wants to have them – you – for him or herself. Alternatively, they just can’t let go. Maybe it is a former partner relentlessly making phone calls to your workplace, coming to your home or office without permission and unannounced, falsely disparaging you online, or harassing your family or friends. While not exclusive to these situations, because privacy is sometimes not as great a concern, victims can choose a combination of a cease-and-desist memorandum, Article 8 Family Court Order of Protection petition, and prosecuting their stalker.
Your Blackmailer & Stalker
The above is a brief description of some of the more common scenarios involving Blackmail, Sextortion, Revenge Porn, Stalking and related crimes but by no means all of them. While every extortee and extorter are different and require a unique strategy, there are elements of these ugly personal violations that generally hold true. Before you allow yourself to get pulled further down the rabbit hole of victimization and finding yourself in an untenable situation with both your career and name on the precipice, contact Jeremy Saland, a criminal lawyer, victim advocate, and former prosecutor.