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Press Release

Lebanon County Man Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison For Online Extortion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that John Anthony Zayas, age 35, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo following his conviction for extortion by interstate communication. 

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Zayas previously pleaded guilty to this offense, which involved Zayas’s efforts in the fall of 2022 to coerce a victim to pay $150,000 under the threat that Zayas would publicize intimate photos and images of the victim if they did not comply.  In a sentencing memorandum, Zayas asked Judge Rambo to sentence him to house arrest in lieu of prison, but Judge Rambo rejected that request and ordered that Zayas report to prison in June 2024 to begin serving his sentence. 

Judge Rambo also ordered Zayas to pay $850 in fines and assessments and to serve one year of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian T. Haugsby.

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Updated April 30, 2024