Gay extortion scheme unraveled in Kentucky
August 21 2003 12:00 AM ET
Three Lexington, Ky., men have been arrested by federal agents for allegedly luring a local man into a gay sex act, photographing it, then trying to extort $75,000 from the victim to keep the picture from his family and colleagues, the Lexington Herald Leader reports. Only one man has fallen victim to the apparent scheme, but the three men intended to target other well-heeled Lexington residents, according to a sworn statement by Gary Ludwick, an FBI agent who investigated the case. Two of the three men have been indicted in connection with the crime, and the third, who turned himself in Friday, has been charged and probably will be indicted next month.
The scheme included a simulated cash drop that was snatched up by a motorcyclist, who then sped away, Ludwick said. Agents tracked the motorcycle and a car registered to one of the men. It all started July 14, when the victim met one of the men and had sex with him at the Microtel hotel on Winchester Road. The pair met again July 26 at Hamburg Pavilion and went to the victim's home. Then, according to Ludwick, the victim received an E-mail the next day with an attached photograph of the intimate encounter at the Microtel. It read: "I'm sure a charitable contribution of $75,000 cash will help keep
this photo, the complete video, or other information we know about you, out of the wrong hands.... Breathe even a whisper of it, and your wife, children and many others will get pictures and much more. Not to mention your own safety and may be in jepordy [sic]." Within hours the man called the FBI, who traced the E-mail address through America Online.