Sextortion case: three years in prison, two suspended, for the two defendants

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Sextortion case: three years in prison, two suspended, for the two defendants

After the three days of trial at the end of September, the 13th correctional chamber of the judicial court of Paris has just rendered its decision in the case of the crypto-porn scam. Augustin I. and Jordan R., the two defendants, were found guilty and sentenced this Thursday, November 2, to a three-year prison sentence, two of which were suspended.

During the first half of 2019, millions of French Internet users had received malicious messages threatening to disclose alleged recordings of pornographic site visits to third parties. To avoid such a mishap, it was enough to pay a ransom averaging around 500 euros. Behind these very lucrative untimely shipments, Augustin and Jordan, two young Frenchmen who left for Ukraine who admitted to having won around 150,000 euros with this scam.


This identical sentence is explained, said the president of the court, by a similar participation in the facts. The trial had however highlighted a certain division of tasks, Augustin having the role of developer of the Varenyky malware. This malicious software had allowed the constitution of a network of zombie machines managed first by Jordan.

Both convictions come with several obligations: to have a job, to compensate the victims and to follow care. In addition, the two defendants are prohibited from carrying or possessing a weapon for two years. A point that made Augustin, a weapons lover according to his former friend Jordan, tick at the helm.

These sentences are slightly lower than what was required by the prosecutor’s office during the trial. The public prosecutor’s office had requested sentences of 4 years and 3 and a half years of imprisonment, accompanied by a three-year probation period.


If the court rather followed the requisitions, it evacuated the notion of an organized gang for laundering, for lack of evidence on a structured organization. The two defendants were also prosecuted for two cyber crimes, fraudulent access and maintenance in an automated data processing system.

The judges have finally requalified the facts of extortion and attempted extortion into blackmail and attempted blackmail. The defense had indeed informed the judges that the scam emails must first be analyzed in this way. These messages played on the stereotypes related to hackers, necessarily capable of taking full control over any machine. It was actually a big bluff.

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