DC Trawler

State Dept. Staffer Accused Of Running ‘Massive Sextortion Scam’

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As longtime readers know, I’m always glad when employees of the United States Department of State are held accountable for their actions. Sometimes it can take a while.

But sometimes justice is relatively swift. Steve Visser, Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Federal agents arrested a State Department employee flying out of Atlanta this week and charged him with running a massive “sextortion” scam claiming he stole sexually explicit photos of young women from their Internet accounts and then blackmailed them for more sexual photos and videos.

Michael C. Ford, a staffer at the American embassy in London who was visiting his parents in Alpharetta, is suspected of victimizing hundreds of young women across the nation by hacking their accounts from his State Department computer…

He is accused of emailing the photos to at least one woman’s parents and brother, said Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section…

Ford is not accused of extorting money. Sedky described the man, who sat shackled in an orange jumpsuit Thursday, as a predator who derived pleasure from toying with his victims and coercing more photos and videos from them.

“He targeted women at U.S. colleges and universities and was looking for women who were members of sororities … and aspiring models,” Sedky said. “He is just relentless.”

There are plenty of places on the Internet where one can find that sort of material, without any need for coercion. (Or so I’m told.) But for some guys, that’s not enough. They don’t want willing participants. They get a sick thrill out of intruding on other people’s privacy. They think stalking people who just want to be left alone gives them power. They think it proves their superiority.

They’re diseased vermin.

Of course, if the evidence doesn’t back up the charges, not only should Ford go free, but he should get a very big payday from the feds. I won’t let my personal feelings interfere with my recognition of the facts. I’m no Mattress Girl fan.

But if he did this? Especially if he did this on the clock, on my dime? Then I have no problem with my tax dollars keeping him in prison with all the other scum.

Oh, by the way:

Sedky noted Ford apparently spent hours cyber-stalking at his embassy computer despite its warning from the State Department it was monitored. State Department security, however, apparently never detected the stalking.

State Department security is incompetent? Go figure.