Man sentenced in “sextortion” scheme that targeted 153 minors

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind.— A Brazil, Ind. man was sentenced to serve 40 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a “sextortion” scheme that authorities said targeted hundreds of children nationwide.

Richard Finkbiner, 29, was arrested on April 6, 2012 on charges of child sexual exploitation. A search of his home uncovered more than 22,000 video files and approximately 47,000 images that depicted child pornography.

Prosecutors said a review of Finkbiner’s emails and chat logs revealed there were at least 153 victims. At least twenty of them have been identified by investigators, including one teen in Avon, Ind.

“For nearly two years, this man sat in front of his home computer and orchestrated a scheme that terrorized hundreds of young people across this country,” U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said. “It is our hope that today’s sentencing serves not just as a deterrent to criminals, but also as a warning to Hoosier families as to the dangers that can lurk on these anonymous chat websites.”

Authorities said Finkbiner would convince his victim to engage in sexually explicit activities that he would secretly record. Finkbiner would then tell his victims he would publish the videos online or send them to the victim’s family and friends if they did not become his “cam slaves” and engage in additional sexually explicit activity.

Court documents revealed a teenage female victim became so distraught from Finkbiner’s abuse that she attempted suicide.

Following his prison sentence, Finkbiner was ordered to serve lifetime federally-supervised release, register as a sexual offender and pay a fine of $70,000.