Next steps in extortion case - ideas?

William Herrin bill at
Sat Jun 28 21:55:12 UTC 2014

On Sat, Jun 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM, Markus <universe at> wrote:
> Do you think the PI route makes sense? Any other recommendations? Your
> feedback in general?


Some information for you to consider:

1. There are two things going on here: extortion and libel.

2. Extortion is a crime. However, unless a substantial sum was
requested (much more than $1000) it may not be a felony. It can be
federal crime, but if you know who did it and where that individual
is, you'll have better luck pursuing it under state law. Local cops
don't need to justify travel expenses to investigate a local crime.

3. The first thing the law enforcement officer will ask you is: are
you prepared to come to the US and testify in court that the
individual you accuse in fact did what you accused them of. If the
answer is no, the case is usually over.

4. The next thing they'll want is some evidence. They need to get
enough evidence for "probable cause" so they can ask a judge for a
warrant to search the guy's house, computer, etc. Google the term and
read about it to learn what level of evidence constitutes probable
cause. The more money their department would have to spend to achieve
probable cause, the less attention they'll give the case. Hand it to
them on a platter and you're golden.

5. Understand that criminal law is about punishing crimes, not making
things right for the victim. Law enforcement's agenda is it's agenda,
not yours. They're interested in putting the guy in jail, not making
him undo the damage he did to you.

6. Libel, harmfully lying in writing, is not a crime: it's a tort. You
can sue the guy in court but law enforcement won't get involved. Also,
it's covered under state law, not federal. You'll have to sue him
either in the locality where he posted the libel from or in a locality
where you can prove you were specifically harmed by the libel. Nowhere
else has jurisdiction.

7. You'll have to prove you were actually harmed by the libel. So he
claimed you are a child molester. Boo hoo. How much money did you lose
from who and where as a result? If you can't prove you lost money,
don't waste your time.

8. Chat with a lawyer. Before you hire a PI or contact law enforcement
or do anything else, hire a lawyer in the area where you believe this
creep lives, show him what you have and ask his advice. A few hours of
a lawyer's time doesn't cost a fortune and he'll be able to give you a
realistic picture of your options.

Bill Herrin

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

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