Friday, October 22, 2004

IT HAS TO BE FRIDAY: A Maryland man, facing charges of possessing biological weapons, was sentenced Friday to more than five years in federal prison for trying to extort millions of dollars from a Connecticut company. Myron Tereshchuk, 42, of Hyattsville, Md., had pleaded guilty in June to extortion for attempting to force a Connecticut trademark information company to pay him $17 million.

Prosecutors said Tereshchuk had harassed East Haven, Conn.-based MicroPatent for more than a year. Tereshchuk ran a small business called Potomac Filewrapper Service that was a competitor to MicroPatent. Tereshchuk sent MicroPatent's clients hundreds of e-mails, many of which were "spoofed" to resemble authentic MicroPatent correspondence.

The e-mails contained statements derogatory to MicroPatent, attached sexually explicit patent applications, and disclosed MicroPatent documents that were believed to have been confidential, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said that in March Tereshchuk began sending e-mails to MicroPatent, using an alias and demanding $17 million. "Once again, a serious criminal thought the anonymity of cyberspace would protect him, and once again, law enforcement has proven him wrong," said Paul J. McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

- LOL! Nothing like sending "sexually explicit patent applications" as a threat to someone. Maybe I'll try that with some opposing counsel in the future . . . .

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