Rochester Man Charged With Attempting to Extort a Rochester Businessman
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that
John L. Lyons, of Caledonia, N.Y., was charged by criminal complaint with intending to
extort money by threatening to injure the reputation of another. The charge carries a maximum
penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that
according to the complaint, between November 30, 2012 to December 20, 2012, the defendant
posed as a private investigator in text messages to the president of a local company in
Rochester who was involved in a contentious battle over control and operations of the family
owned business. Specifically, Lyons, using his text messaging, stated to the victim that he had
obtained incriminating information about the victim. The complaint further stated that if the
victim paid the defendant $25,000 in cash, he would give the incriminating information to the
victim, rather than turn over the information to the entities that hired Lyons to gather the
information about victim.
The complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and
the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.