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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jury Convicts Former New York Resident Of Making Death Threats

Defendant Used Telephone Calls and Text Messages In Bid To Intimidate Nightclub Owners

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal jury convicted Jorge Cornejo of making threats by phone and text message, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The guilty verdict was issued late yesterday following a week-long trial before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Cornejo, 41, formerly of New York, was confronted for various misrepresentations he made about his connection to San Francisco and New York night clubs.  After being confronted, Cornejo made a series of threats to individuals located in the Northern District of California. Cornejo communicated his threats from Las Vegas, Nevada.  Cornejo also used a cellular telephone to send a number of threatening text messages to nightclub owners in San Francisco and New York on May 10, 2017.  

A federal grand jury issued a superseding indictment on August 3, 2017, charging the defendant with two counts of making interstate threats to injure, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c).  Pursuant to yesterday’s verdict, Cornejo has been found guilty of both counts.  

Judge Breyer scheduled a hearing for sentencing for January 16, 2018.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 875 (c) is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  In addition, the court could impose a term of supervised release, however, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

The case was tried by Assistant United States Attorneys Meredith Osborn and Shailika Shah Kotiya, with assistance from Alycee Lane.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI. 

Updated October 17, 2017