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Press Release

Former Fresno Resident Charged with Sending Interstate Threats with Intent to Extort Money from Former Employer and Coworkers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — William Lee Robinson, 40, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was arrested today after a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging him with sending interstate threats with intent to extort, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to the indictment brought on Aug. 12, 2021, Robinson worked at a business in Fresno from June to November in 2017. After the business fired him, Robinson began sending threatening messages to his former supervisor and other coworkers in an attempt to extort them for money. These threats included graphic statements threatening to physically harm the supervisor’s daughter. Robinson made the threats because he wanted the company to pay him between $10,000 and $20,000.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincente A. Tennerelli is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Robinson faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated September 23, 2021