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A Seattle man was arrested Friday after authorities say he threatened Dallas-based Leagle.com to remove a court decision he was involved in.
Kamyar Jahanrakhshan, 37, was charged in federal court in the Northern District of Texas with extortion by threats to cause damage, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas.
Leagle.com is a website that aggregates state and federal court documents, including Jahanrakhshan’s 2011 conviction for fraud and obstruction in Canada. He ran a scam to make credit cards in his name and then used them to shop at luxury car dealerships, according to previous news reports.
Jahanrakhshan, who was born in Iran and became a U.S. citizen, was locked up for roughly 18 months and later deported from Canada to the U.S., according to the affidavit. He had obtained permanent resident status in Canada.
In December 2014, Jahanrakhshan requested that his court decisions be deleted and offered to pay a fee to have the post removed. When his requests were denied, he claimed that he met a “group of hackers online whom are willing to launch a massive cycle attack on Leagle.com,” according to the affidavit.
A Jan. 25, 2015, email was sent claiming to be “the anonymous hackers group,” saying that the group launched a cyberattack on the website.
“If you do not remove it immediately, more severe attacks will hit your website in the coming days and weeks, and your users will be deprived of your service. Be wise,” the email said. The company reported a large amount of traffic targeted to Leagle.com’s IP address and took down the court opinion during the day, according to the affidavit. Leagle.com estimated that it cost $10,000 to allocate time and resources to the issue.