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Press Release

Yemeni Man Charged With Extortion

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

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a one-count indictment charging Yousef Goba, 43, of Yemen, with making extortionate threats to harm and kidnap a minor. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy C. Lynch and Wei Xiang, who are handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, between February 2015 and April 2015, Goba contacted the victim through telephone and text messages and threatened to kidnap the victim’s minor child.
The minor child went to Yemen with her mother in September 2013.  While in Yemen, the minor child, her mother, and siblings lived with Goba for a period of time. When the mother wanted to move from Goba’s residence, the defendant refused to let the minor child leave and threatened that he would have the minor child marry a Yemeni man, if money was not paid to him. On April 8, 2015, during a call recorded by the FBI, Goba demanded that the victim pay him $11,000 as well as money for other expenses for the release of the minor child.
The defendant was arrested, pursuant to an arrest warrant, on Friday, June 2, 2017, at JFK Airport, when he entered the United States on a commercial flight. 
Goba will be arraigned this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer. 
The indictment is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam Cohen.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated June 12, 2017