Earlier this year, Lee Philip Rees of Roath, Cardiff was found guilty of computer hacking, distribution of indecent child photos and blackmail. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for convincing paedophiles to pay him over £40,000 by pretending to be a teenage girl.
Rees admitted that he posed as a 13-year-old girl in chat rooms as bait for paedophiles. Rees shared a video with his victims that contained a remote access tool that allowed him to install indecent images on their machines and took screen shots of the images before he threatened to send their personal details to schools and the media. He also managed a website where his victim's details went live.
According to South Wales Police, Rees bragged of the extortion money and insisted that others should get involved in a “paedo hunt”. He demanded payment up to £200 from his victims in the form of Amazon vouchers instead of Bitcoin.
Judge Eleri Rees, unrelated to the crook, said: “Having read all of the evidence and, in particular, the chat logs, I have reached the conclusion that you derived much enjoyment and satisfaction in controlling and manipulating these individuals, preying on their fears and extracting for yourself significant financial gain.”
Rees reportedly carried out the scam hundreds of times and collected 400 payments from his victims. Police are investigating thousands of Skype contacts located on his computer.