March 15, 2017 | Other News

Inmate extorted gay men from behind bars

Another scheme to extort closeted gay men has come to a conclusion with this week's sentencing of the culprit, who pled guilty to wire fraud in 2015. The twist this time: the entire operation was conducted behind prison walls.

Sean Siwek was doing time at a private, medium security prison in Lawton, Oklahoma when he devised and carried out the plan between 2010 and 2012. Using a telephone dating service, he and other prisoners created profiles in order to attract closeted married men. Once they had leads they would use smuggled cell phones to take the relationships further, saying they were willing to have sex for money and arranging rendezvous.

The victims would then receive a call from a co-conspirator claiming to be a law enforcement officer. The phony cop would accuse the victim of having agreed to have sex with a minor and threaten to publicize the victim’s sexual orientation and bring charges against him, unless the victim paid him off.

Siwek convinced an Ohio man to give him over $85,000 over 18 months by claiming that the victim had been communicating with a 15-year-old and then extracting a series of bribes to pay off fake parents, a pretend FBI agent and a made-up crooked judge.

Siwek has been sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison and ordered to repay $125,000 to various victims. He has been serving a 20 year prison sentence since 2007 for robbery and assault. Leading up to his December 2014 federal indictment on the wire fraud charges, Siwek spent about a year in solitary confinement at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.  He then spent more than two years at county jails while awaiting sentencing.

The judge didn't order that Siwek serve any additional time in prison because of the time he has already served. He has been returned to Oklahoma State Penitentiary where he will be eligible for parole in 2023.

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