| LOS ANGELES, April 22
LOS ANGELES, April 22 Two California men who
pleaded guilty to hacking into the email account of a
professional poker player and trying to extort him with naked
pictures found there have been sentenced to prison terms,
federal prosecutors said on Monday.
Prosecutors say Tyler Schrier, 23, and Keith James Hudson,
39, took part in a so-called "sextortion" scheme targeting poker
pro Joe Sebok in the fall of 2010, threatening to post the
pictures and intimate emails online if he and other victims did
not pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sebok said during a sentencing hearing for the two men in
U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that he and the other victims
had seen their lives "altered and shattered in irreparable ways"
by the crime, which damaged his ability to earn a living as a
professional poker player.
"In short, I was no longer able to maintain my then-current
level of participation in the poker industry, representing the
brands that I had been previously, as well as greatly destroying
my ability to do so with new companies moving forward," Sebok
said, according to U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek.
"Without belaboring the point too much, it was a nightmare,
and one that I was forced to live through with millions of
people watching," Sebok said, according to Mrozek.
The other victims of the scheme were identified in court
documents only by their initials. None of the victims made the
payments to the extortionists, prosecutors said.
Schrier was sentenced to 42 months in prison after pleading
guilty to conspiracy, extortion and unauthorized access to a
protected computer. He had faced a maximum sentence of 17 years
in prison if convicted at trial.
Hudson was sentenced to two years in prison following his
guilty plea to unauthorized access to a protected computer for
purposes of financial gain. Hudson could have been sentenced to
five years behind bars if found guilty at trial.
A third defendant, 22-year-old Ryder Finney, has pleaded
guilty to conspiracy in connection with the scheme and will be
sentenced later this year in federal court in Philadelphia. He
faces a maximum of five years in prison.
According to charging documents, Hudson obtained emails and
intimate photographs from Sebok's account and sent them to
Schrier, who threatened to post the materials online unless he
was provided with money or credits in online poker accounts.
Prosecutors said that prior to the Sebok case, Schrier had
extorted more than $26,000 from professional poker players in
exchange for agreeing not to reveal information regarding their
online poker activities.
In 2012, while free on bond in the Sebok case, Schrier
illegally accessed two email accounts to steal some $4,000 from
online poker accounts, prosecutors said.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)