|Sean Siwek, scammer, blackmailer|
An Oklahoma prisoner posed as an Elyria man in an elaborate scheme to blackmail gay men across the country by threatening to expose their sexuality and falsely claiming that the men had offered to have sex with minors.
The prisoner, Sean Siwek, was sentenced Tuesday to two years and three months in federal prison and ordered to repay $124,990 to various victims, according to Bob Troester, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Western District of Oklahoma.
According to court documents filed in the case, Siwek was being housed at Lawton Correctional Facility, a private medium-security prison in Lawton, Okla., when he and other co-conspirators, who weren’t identified in the indictment, hatched their scheme.
Using a voice-based dating service, Siwek and others created messages that were the equivalent of personal advertisements that they used to find men across the country, including in Colorado, Maryland, Ohio and Oklahoma, prosecutors said.
Siwek and those working with him would get messages from legitimate users of the dating service and then contact them separately using illicit cell phones that had been smuggled into the prison.
Siwek would falsely tell those he got into contact with that he was a male prostitute interested in having sexual relations with men who were married or had girlfriends.
“After establishing a rapport with a legitimate user and arranging to meet for sex, Siwek or another coconspirator called that legitimate user, claiming to be a law enforcement officer, and fraudulently represented that the legitimate user had agreed to have sex with a minor, which was a crime,” the indictment in the case said. “Siwek and his coconspirators then falsely represented that they would publicize the legitimate user’s sexual orientation and bring criminal charges against him, or cause such charges to be brought, unless the legitimate user paid them.”
Prosecutors detailed how Siwek and his allies were able to convince an Ohio man to give them approximately $86,840 between October 2011 and February 2012 through the scheme.
Siwek created a profile claiming to be a 24-year-old from Elyria and ended up communicating with the Ohio man, and the two eventually arranged to meet “for a good time sexually,” prosecutors wrote.
The next day, Siwek called from the prison and claimed to be the 24-year-old man’s father but said the person who the Ohio man had been communicating with was actually 15.
Siwek demanded $500 and the Ohio man bought two debit cards and provided the information over the phone to Siwek. In a later call, Siwek told the Ohio man to expect a call from an FBI agent.
When the “agent” called, he told the victim that he had committed a crime by arranging to have sex with a minor and threatened to charge the Ohio man unless he was paid.
Over the next few months, Siwek and his co-conspirators demanded additional money, including for bribes to a fake judge and to get others to keep “quiet.”
Court records show Siwek pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and false impersonation of a federal officer two years ago. Troester said Siwek will receive credit for all the time he’s served behind bars while awaiting sentencing.
Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.