SoCal Art Gallery Owner Gets Five Years

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – The owner of a Temecula art gallery who stalked and tried to extort $300,000 from art world professionals was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison.
     Jason White, 43, of Temecula, pleaded guilty in March to two federal counts of stalking, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
     The FBI arrested White in February after what prosecutors called “a six-month stalking and extortion scheme” against people with whom he had done business.
     “White posted derogatory information about his former associates on websites he had created, and then used threatening emails to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for taking the websites down. White repeatedly made extortionate demands through harassing text messages and emails, and when his demands were not met, he threatened violence against the victim families, including their children,” the U.S. attorney said in a statement.
     Prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo: “Given the ominous, angry and relentless nature of the messages, the victims had a reasonable fear that defendant planned to hunt down and kill their spouses and children.”
     Temecula, pop. 105,000, is in Riverside County. Its median household income of $81,858 is 40 percent above the statewide average of $58,328, according to city-data.com.

%d bloggers like this: