Minnesota Man Sentenced to 63 Months for Extorting Money
MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gregory P. Kolk, 35, Oakdale, Minn., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 63 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for extortion by use of interstate communication. Kolk pleaded guilty to this charge on April 15, 2016.
Gregory Kolk and his co-defendant, Cassandra Doerr, 22, made threatening phone calls and sent threats by text message from their residence in Minnesota to a victim in Trempealeau County, Wis., during late November 2015. In the communications, they demanded that the victim pay substantial amounts of money to Doerr in order to avoid injury or death at the hands of members of a motorcycle gang.
The victim initially provided money to Doerr, but then contacted law enforcement about the threats and extortion, which resulted in the arrest of Kolk and Doerr in Osseo, Wis., on December 1, 2015, when they arrived to pick up money from the victim.
Judge Peterson noted his concern for the seriousness of the crime and its impact not only upon the victim of the threats, but also upon the life of Kolk’s young co-defendant, Doerr, who was a single mother that Kolk was dating. Kolk influenced her to participate in the extortion scheme. Doerr, who had no prior criminal history, was sentenced on July 7 by Judge Peterson to time served – just over four months in custody – to be followed by three years of supervised release, on the same felony extortion charge. Kolk and Doerr were also both ordered to pay $5,550 in restitution to the Wisconsin victim for money paid during the extortion.
Observing that there were two other investigations into similar activity that Kolk is alleged to have perpetrated in Minnesota, Judge Peterson said there was a strong imperative to protect the public from Kolk, who had demonstrated that he was a con man who threatens people with terrible consequences in order to get money from them.
The charge against Gregory Kolk and Cassandra Doerr was the result of an investigation conducted by the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.