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Press Release

Georgia Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in Interstate Extortion Conspiracy

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A resident of Ellenwood, Georgia, has been sentenced in federal court to two years of imprisonment on his conviction of conspiring and traveling interstate to commit extortion, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States District Judge William S. Stickman IV imposed the sentence on Richard W. Long, 50.

According to information presented to the Court, in July of 2022, Long participated in a conspiracy to extort money from victims in Western Pennsylvania. Conspirators who had access to cell phones while incarcerated in a Georgia prison called victims and falsely represented themselves as sheriff’s deputies who had arrest warrants for the victims. Victims were told that these warrants were the result of their purported failure to appear for a court hearing pursuant to a subpoena that had supposedly been served on them. The callers convinced victims that, to avoid arrest, they needed to appear at bail bond agencies in Pittsburgh, where victims then paid cash “bonds” or “fines” to Long when he met them in the parking lot. Three victims paid a total of approximately $39,750 to Long and his co-conspirators.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Stickman spoke to the “reprehensible” conduct of the conspirators, noting that they specifically targeted good, hard-working citizens to get their money.

Assistant United States Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Allegheny County Sheriff's Office for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Long.

Updated July 9, 2024