Facebook friend requests from strangers almost always turn out to be bad news. In the best-case scenario, some weird guy from Turkmenistan insults your sister’s prom photos. In the worst-case: Someone creates a fake account, discovers hidden info about your past, and then threatens to release that information or kill you if you don’t pony up thousands of dollars.
That’s exactly what a former FIU student did to an anonymous California college student who had a secret past as a porn star. Now, the FIU student is headed to prison after trying to use that info to extort tens of thousands of dollars.
In June 2015, federal authorities say the California student, listed only as “S.B.” in court records, received a strange friend request from a former U.S. Marine named “Giovani.” But when S.B. accepted Giovani’s friend request, things turned ugly: “Giovani” was actually a 23-year-old Florida International University criminal-justice student named Kassandra Cruz, who’d discovered that S.B. had secretly dabbled in porn years ago.
Cruz immediately began to threaten her: She’d expose that secret to S.B.’s family and employer, she promised — and even threatened to kill her — unless S.B. coughed up $100,000.