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Press Release

Yemeni Man Pleads Guilty To 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. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Yousef Goba, 44, of Yemen, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to 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. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that between February 2015 and April 2015, Goba contacted the victim through telephone and text messages and threatened to kidnap and injure 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 plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 29, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Updated June 19, 2018