Winchester Man Sentenced to 24 Months for Extorting Singapore Government
LEXINGTON, Ky. —Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, a 34-year-old man originally from Winchester, Kentucky, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison Friday, by United States Chief District Judge Danny C. Reeves, for sending extortionate communications to the Government of Singapore and its Ministry of Health and using the means of identification of over 14,200 people as leverage in his extortion attempt.
According to trial testimony, Farrera-Brochez obtained access to a database belonging to the Singaporean Ministry of Health that listed the private identifying and medical information of thousands of people in Singapore living with HIV, including more than 50 U.S. citizens. Farrera-Brochez sent the database to his mother in Kentucky, and retrieved it when he returned to Kentucky in 2018.
On January 22, Farrera-Brochez sent an email to several officials of the Government of Singapore that included three links to places on the internet where he had put copies of the database. Farrera-Brochez made several demands in that email. On February 18, Farrera-Brochez sent a second email to officials of the Government of Singapore threatening to publish the database if his demands were not met.
Farrera-Brochez was convicted on June 4. In addition to the sentencing, Farrera-Brochez was also ordered to forfeit to the federal government the electronic devices and Google accounts that he used in his crimes. Upon release from prison, Farrera-Brochez will be on supervised release for 3 years.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and James Robert Brown, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, jointly made the announcement.
“The defendant’s conduct was serious and significant, affecting thousands of people across the world,” said United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr. “The defendant unlawfully obtained the private, personal identifying information of more than 14,000 people, including American citizens, and used this information in an attempt to extort the government of a foreign nation. Without the hard work of law enforcement personnel, the defendant could have caused significant additional harm, by publishing this personal and private information.”
The investigation was conducted by the FBI with assistance from the Kentucky State Police. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Dmitriy Slavin and Special Assistant United States Attorney James Chapman.
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