An Indianapolis man named Richard Brown is behind bars after posing as a teenage girl on social media and catfishing men into sending nude photos of themselves.
According to The Indianapolis Star, the 55-year-old man was sentenced to three years in Marion County Community Corrections after taking on the persona of a 15-year-old girl on social media and tricking men into sending sexually explicit photos of themselves. After successfully receiving the photos, Brown would blackmail his victims into paying money to keep him from exposing what they had done.
One of Brown’s victims reported receiving a message from an individual named Mark after sending nude photos to the teenager via a dating website. In the message, Mark threatened to prosecute the victim before trying to force the individual into performing sexual acts.
In total, Brown had coerced and extorted nine different men across six different states who collectively sent him over $12,000 to keep him from revealing their secret. Prosecutors confirm Brown pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence – which is a Class 5 felony – earlier this month.
In addition to Mark and the teenager, Brown also took on the persona of an Indiana State Police sergeant named Carlos Evans. As Evans, Brown convinced his victims to send him money to stop him from releasing the photos and prosecuting them. He told some of the victims he was a retired member of the police department but could contact law enforcement friends to have them prosecuted if they didn’t pay up.
To pay him off, Brown asked his victim to send $1,000 in the form of Visa gift cards that could be purchased from Walmart. Complying with his demands, one of the victims confirmed purchasing two $500 gift cards and sending them to who they believed was Carlos Evans.
The court affidavit confirms both Mark and Carlos’ profiles were traced back to Richard Brown. The affidavit also confirms there is no Carlos Evans within the Indiana State Police Department.
One of Brown’s victims reportedly sent 83 different payments totaling $4,150. A second victim sent 51 payments totaling $3,825.
In addition to not being permitted to use the internet unless it is work related, the court has also ordered Brown to pay $11,830 in restitution to the victims he extorted.
What about the “victims” who thought they were talking to a 15yo?
— Stephen Heidenreich (@Stephen_H_H) July 12, 2019
Despite being behind bars for committing a crime, some who have seen the story have taken to Twitter to applaud Brown as they question why the “victims” aren’t in trouble for believing they were sending nudes to a 15-year-old girl.