Lee’s Summit man sentenced in $1m extortion scheme
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Lee’s Summit man was sentenced in federal court Thursday in a $1 million extortion scheme against two victims from Kansas City.
25-year-old Leon L. Dudley III was sentenced to seven years and six months in federal prison without parole.
The court also ordered Dudley to pay $5,729 in restitution to his victims after damage was done to their home.
According to court documents, Dudley delivered an extortion note to a Kansas City, Missouri, residence on Aug. 24, 2018. The two victims reported to law enforcement a contractor arrived at the house in the morning to complete some work and found an envelope containing a handwritten letter taped to the front of the house near the front door. The letter contained a threat to vandalize and burn the house down if the victims didn’t pay $1 million by the next day.
The note included a cell phone number for the victim to text when the money was ready and warned them against contacting law enforcement.
The U.S. Department of Justice said the next day, Dudley used a pellet gun to break several windows in the house. After the homeowners hired a private security firm, Dudley returned that evening and broke more windows and a sliding glass door, causing the aforementioned damage worth more than $5,000.
Investigators traced the cell phone number on the extortion note to the home Dudley lived at with his mother. They also located Dudley’s Facebook account, which included a photograph of a handwritten note that featured similar handwriting to the extortion note, as well as photos of Dudley that matched the physical profile of a person captured in surveillance video at the residence.
When Dudley’s residence was investigated, investigators found an iPad that had been stolen during a burglary at the extortion victim’s residence while it was under construction in June 2018. The iPad contained internet searches related to the victim, to burning a house down and purchasing explosive items, as well as two extortion notes similar to the note left at the victim’s residence. They also found fingerprints on the extortion note.
Dudley was found guilty in November 2022.
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