Monthly Archives: September 2015

State Dept. worker pleads not guilty to online ‘sextortion’

ATLANTA — A former US State Department employee accused of sending threatening emails to college-aged women from his computer at the US Embassy in London pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges.

A grand jury last month indicted Michael C. Ford on nine counts of cyberstalking, seven counts of computer hacking to extort and one count of wire fraud. He waived formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty at a hearing in federal court in Atlanta.

Ford victimized hundreds of people in the United States by posing as a member of Google’s account deletion team, which doesn’t actually exist, and sending emails to potential victims saying their accounts would be deleted unless they sent him their passwords, the indictment says.

Ford used those passwords to access email and social media accounts to obtain sexually explicit photos and to search for personal information and additional potential victims, the indictment says.

He then used false names, including

Read more at:

‘Sextortion’ remains blind spot in international fight against corruption

The US immigration officer told a young Colombian woman that he wanted sex, once or twice, and in return would give her a green card, the coveted document that would allow her to live and work in the US permanently.

What he did not know was that the conversation was recorded on a digital camera in her pocket and used as evidence in a case of “sextortion”, a form of corruption that involves officials abusing their power to obtain a sexual favour.

“Sextortion is very widespread, but it is one of the hardest-to-prove forms of corruption,” said Nancy Hendry, senior adviser at the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), which coined the term in its quest to stop the abusive practice.

Statistics are hard to come by but Interpol says reports indicate that sextortion is a growing problem with hundreds of thousands of victims around the world.

Prosecutors often have hard evidence and anti-corruption

Read more at: