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Press Release

Jackson, Mississippi Man Charged With Attempted Online Extortion Of The University Of Louisville Athletic Association

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Jackson, Mississippi man was charged by a federal grand jury meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 16, 2013, with a single count of extortion, by means of a threatening communication, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. The federal indictment was unsealed today, following the arrest this morning, of Thomas E. Ray, age 35, in Mississippi, by the U.S. Marshal Service.

According to the indictment, Ray, using the alias “Melinda White,” knowingly sent an email communication from his home in Jackson, MS, to the commonwealth of Kentucky, on April 23, 2013 with the intent to extort $3.5 million from an association and corporation, by threatening to injure the reputation of the University of Louisville Athletic Association.

If convicted, Ray faces no more than two years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a one year period of supervised release. His initial appearance on the charge was held today, in U.S. District Court located at 501 E. Court Street, Jackson, MS, in the Southern District of Mississippi. Ray posted a $10,000 bond and was ordered to appear in Louisville District Court on November 7, 2013 at 11:00 am.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney A. Spencer McKiness and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Office of the Kentucky Attorney General.

The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation
only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless
proven guilty.

Updated December 15, 2014