Chicago man sent dozens of sextortion victims, family members threatening messages: court docs


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A Chicago man admitted to targeting “dozens” of gay men in a cyberstalking and sextortion scheme and threatened to expose their concealed sexual orientation and leak their explicit photos. 

Court documents detail Omoruyi Uwadiae’s interactions with eight unnamed victims, but federal prosecutors said there are many other unknown victims of Udawiae, who pleaded guilty in a federal case on May 22.

In one instance, Uwadiae sent a victim’s images to his mom, court documents say. In other incidents, he sent the victims’ photos to their brother and sister. 

“Did your sister tell you about your nudes I sent her lol,” he texted one of his victims, according to court records. 

FAMILY OF TEENAGER WHO DIED BY SUICIDE AFTER SEXTORTION SCHEME SUES SNAPCHAT

A girl lays on her bed with a phone in her hands

A Chicago man admitted his role in a sextortion scheme, a crime which has been on the rise, according to the FBI. (Ute Grabowsky/Photothek )

Another victim received a message from Uwadiae that read, “As I said if I get paid or see you again, then everything gets deleted. Up to you.”

He used several different bogus accounts on apps like Grindr, Instagram and Snapchat, among other apps, to convince his targets to send him explicit photos, which he used as blackmail, court records show.

SEXTORTION CRIMINALS TURNING ‘INNOCENT’ IMAGES TO MAKE FAKE EXPLICIT PHOTOS, ABUSE SURVIVOR TURNED EXPERT WARNS

Uwadie “demanded money from some victims,” federal prosecutors said in a press release. “From others, he demanded they meet him, have sex with him, or make damaging admissions such as admissions that they were racist.”

He carried through his threats multiple times, according to prosecutors, who said he sent the X-rated photos to the victims’ friends and family. 

Some of the victims didn’t tell family and friends that they were gay or bisexual, but Uwadiae outed them. 

Court documents in the federal criminal case against Omoruyi O. Uwadiae, 28, detail the sextortion scam against eight of "dozens" of victims.

Court documents in the federal criminal case against Omoruyi O. Uwadiae, 28, detail the sextortion scam against eight of “dozens” of victims.  (United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Ohio)

One of his victims was an Ohio State University student, whose life was ruined because he didn’t pay Uwadie $200 or have sex with him, according to court documents. 

Uwadiae exposed the student’s sexual orientation by uploading the victim’s pictures on fake social media accounts while stating, “This guy is gay, see pics for evidence,” court documents say. 

LAWMAKER EXPOSES DANGERS OF ‘SEXTORTION’ AFTER TEENAGE SON’S SUICIDE

Sextortion

Sextortion: Findings from a survey of 1,631 victims, by the Crimes Against Children Research Centre and Thorn. The issue continues to grow into a bigger issue as technology, especially artificial intelligence, becomes more sophisticated. (Crimes Against Children Research Centre and Thorn)

The 28-year-old Chicago man pleaded guilty to 22 counts of cyberstalking, making interstate communications with the intent to extort and unlawfully using a means of identification. 

He will be sentenced at a future date. Cyberstalking carries a prison sentence of up to five years, making interstate communications with the intent to extort up to two years, and unlawfully using a means of identification up to five years.

His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

WATCH: ABDUCTION SURVIVOR TURNED EXPERT TALKS ABOUT SEXTORTION SCAMS

WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT PREVENTION, RED FLAGS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUE

Sextortion scams are typically motivated by money, and males between the ages of 14 and 17 are more likely to be victims, according to an FBI report released in January. 

Uwadiae’s capture and guilty plea is an oddity. Most cases are virtually untraceable because the suspects live outside the United States, according to the FBI. 

Between October 2021 and March 2023, the FBI and Homeland Security received over 13,000 reports of extortion of minors that led to at least 20 suicides, according to the FBI. 

A phone, several apps

“The FBI has seen a horrific increase in reports of financial sextortion schemes,” Special Agent in Charge Douglas DePodesta, of the FBI Memphis Field Office, said in a statement. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

From October 2022 and March 2023, the number of cases spiked over 20% compared to the same time period the previous year, the FBI said. 

“The FBI has seen a horrific increase in reports of financial sextortion schemes,” Special Agent in Charge Douglas DePodesta, of the FBI Memphis Field Office, said in a statement.

“Protecting children is one of the highest priorities of the FBI. We need parents and caregivers to work with us to prevent this crime before it happens and help children come forward if it does.”

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Federal law enforcement urges anyone who’s a victim or knows a victim of sextortion or financially motivated extortion to immediately report the crime by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or visiting tips.fbi.gov.

The FBI has a website dedicated to sextortion threats and resources (which can be found here). 



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