Next steps in extortion case - ideas?

William Herrin bill at
Sat Jul 5 20:46:21 UTC 2014

On Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM, C. A. Fillekes <cfillekes at> wrote:
> 17 is generally the number of people required, in the US, to file a case as
> a class, which is why I said Markus should find 16 _other_ victims, which
> shouldn't be terribly hard, if we believe his claim that this scammer has
> targeted numerous others in this way.

Hi Fillekes,

For a class action lawsuit, as a rule, there have to be so many
possible plaintiffs that it's not practical for them to file their own
suits, they have to be making identical claims based on the exact same
evidence and you have to have a practical way to identify who the
possible plaintiffs (the members of the class) are so they can claim
their portion of the damages.

That's why class actions are used for things like product liability
where the only material difference between the plaintiffs is when and
where they bought the faulty product. Everything else about the cases,
including all the evidence that the product is faulty, is exactly
identical. Not similar or comparable. It's the exact same evidence.

Unless I've gravely misunderstood Markus, at least one and probably
all three of those conditions won't be met here.

> Furthermore, since the internet is everywhere, I pointed out (or did you
> stop reading after I mentioned that we don't actually know the gender of the
> scammer?) Markus has the option of pursuing this in a jurisdiction where the
> penalties for criminal defamation are the harshest.  It would not have to be
> in the US.

That's really not how jurisdiction works. There has to be a tangible
connection to the offense. The perp made the libelous statements from
the jurisdiction. The perp's web site where the statements were hosted
is located on a computer in the jurisdiction. Markus suffered a
tangible and specific harm (such as a lost customer) in the
jurisdiction. Something more than the possibility that someone in the
jurisdiction might have seen the libelous material.

He can pursue the matter outside the U.S., of course, but if he's
right about the scammer being located in the U.S. that'd be a futile
effort. The U.S. doesn't extradite its citizens for speech-based
offenses and even if he won a civil suit, he'd have to bring suit
again in the U.S. in order to collect damages against any of the
scammer's U.S.-based assets.

> Finally, you fail to address the one very simple way I described to
> determine who this scammer is: follow the money.  Make a small partial
> payment on this supposed "debt" and see who cashes the check.  Much easier
> than trying to follow "him" around on the internet, though that would be
> made easier in the course of negotiating a partial payment.

I didn't read past the word "check." Given the care Markus described
the scammer to have taken, I presume he didn't demand a "check."

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

More information about the NANOG mailing list