Revenge Porn Site Owner Convicted Of Extortion

from the another-one-rung-up dept

So, last week, the FTC came down on revenge porn’s Craig Brittain, and this week another big revenge porn/extortionist Kevin Bollaert was found guilty by a jury for his revenge porn site, YouGotPosted.com. As we wrote when he got arrested, the claims against him that made sense were the extortion claims, and he was found guilty on six extortion counts, along with 20 counts for identity fraud. No verdict was reached on charges of conspiracy.

As with Brittain’s “David Blade III” and his “TakedownLawyer/Takedownhammer” website, Bollaert’s YouGotPosted directed people to a website called ChangeMyReputation, where they could pay $300 to $350 to get their photos taken down off the site. That’s where the extortion charges come in. It’s good to see these guys go down for what they did, but some of the specifics do matter. It’s unclear from the posted reports so far what the specific charges he was found guilty for cover, and whether or not some of them were the ones we pointed out initially that could be seen as problematic. It’s also quite possible that Bollaert will appeal — at which point the specifics will become a lot more important. It does seem likely that some of what he did was very much criminal extortion, as the jury found, but one hopes that the nature of what he was doing and the type of site didn’t cloud the issue, such that he was also blamed for protected activity or activity by users in addition to his own activities. It’s easy to want to see someone like Bollaert be taken down on criminal charges — but we should worry about precedents that may later apply to other site operators who aren’t running revenge porn sites.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Revenge Porn Site Owner Convicted Of Extortion”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
10 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

“we should worry about precedents that may later apply to other site operators who aren’t running revenge porn sites.”

Worry … or hope and pray that it does happen?

Perhaps this case can used as a precedent against crooked lawyers John Steele and Paul Hansmeier, who ran a similar type of extortion racket, which was far more devious, fraudulent, and larcenous. Prenda Law (and related shell corporations) raked in millions of dollars from gullible people who paid much higher blackmail demands to avoid public embarrassment and the threat of financial ruin.

But as is usually the case, extortion rackets and other crimes, when engineered by lawyers, rarely face the same level of punishment as non-lawyer-engineered crimes.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...