An inmate of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) has been sentenced to five a long time in federal jail for his purpose in a lethal sextortion plan.
Wendell Wilkins, of Ridgeville, South Carolina, was serving a 12-yr sentence for attempted armed theft when he pleaded guilty to involvement in a cyber-rip-off to blackmail navy customers.
Prosecutors alleged 32-12 months-previous Wilkins posed as young girls and joined dating sites employing smartphones smuggled into the correctional facility. He then allegedly contacted associates of the US army, sending them sexually specific images of young women that he had acquired from the internet.
Wilkins is accused of tricking the army customers into sharing private information and nude photographs of themselves with him by generating them imagine that they were communicating with a woman.
As component of the rip-off, Wilkins, and other SCDC inmates beneath his way, then allegedly contacted each individual military member, purporting to be the father of the youthful female with whom the member considered that they experienced been communicating.
The scammers then advised the military services members that the women they experienced been exchanging sexually explicit images with had been underage and that, as a final result, they were being now in possession of Child Sexual Abuse Content (CSAM).
Posing as the bogus women’s phony fathers, the scammers threatened to have the armed forces associates arrested or dishonorably discharged except if they compensated money, said prosecutors.
“In overall, extra than 300 armed forces associates all over the United States had been victims of the scheme, and the quantity of decline exceeded $350,000,” mentioned Acting US Lawyer Rhett DeHart. “Quite a few navy customers dedicated suicide immediately after slipping victim to this extortion scheme.”
Wilkins pleaded responsible to income laundering for his part in the plan and was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison and 36 months of supervised launch to be served following he completes his current 12-calendar year condition jail sentence.
“This is another example of how risky it is for inmates to have unlawful cell telephones,” reported South Carolina Department of Corrections director Bryan Stirling.
“States want the skill to jam cell phone indicators inside of prisons so we can keep inmates from continuing their unlawful functions.”
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