(STL.News) – A Wichita computer programmer pleaded guilty today to threatening cyberattacks against two web sites that posted criticism of Wichita lawyer Brad Pistotnik, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
David Dorsett, 37, Wichita, Kan., pleaded guilty to two counts of making extortionate threats via the internet. In his plea, Dorsett admitted he contacted Pistotnik in September 2014 offering reputation management services. Pistotnik met with Dorsett and showed him postings on the internet that Pistotnik wanted removed, including a Kansas Supreme Court disciplinary opinion for Pistotnik and a negative consumer review. Email communications between Dorsett and Pistotnik showed Postnik saying, “Any luck removing that bad website I showed you?” and “tell me how we get rid of it.”
Dorsett sent a barrage of emails to two web sites, leagle.com and RipoffReport.com demanding they remove information critical of Pistotnik. The emails read in part, “If you don’t remove it we will begin targeting your advertisers and explain that this will stop happening to them once they pull their ads…” Dorsett billed Pistotnik for sending the threats and Pistotnik paid him by check the same day.
Co-defendant Pistotnik was sentenced last week to pay a $375,000 fine and $55,200 in restitution.
Dorsett’s sentencing is set for Jan. 6. He faces a penalty of up to two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
McAllister commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart for their work on the case.