If Avid Life Media aka Ashley Madison used fake female profiles to lure men to paying for the service, such customers guaranteed to keep their mouths shut if they were not satisfied with the results who also had to pay $19.99 to leave Ashley Madison with a “full delete” service that itself appears to be a scam, at what point does the following come into play since Avid Life used the wires to conduct the business enterprise:
(1)“racketeering activity” means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; (B) any act which is indictable under any of the following provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201 (relating to bribery), section 224 (relating to sports bribery), sections 471, 472, and 473 (relating to counterfeiting), section 659 (relating to theft from interstate shipment) if the act indictable under section 659 is felonious, section 664 (relating to embezzlement from pension and welfare funds), sections 891–894 (relating to extortionate credit transactions), section 1028 (relating to fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents), section 1029 (relating to fraud and related activity in connection with access devices), section 1084 (relating to the transmission of gambling information), section 1341 (relating to mail fraud), section 1343 (relating to wire fraud)………
Following the link to Wire Fraud, a predicate act under this statute reveals the following:
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
You know folks, depending on how you look at the Ashley Madison hack, I could see an argument for the Impact Team being considered whistle blowers if the above is true. Maybe the FBI needs to divide its Ashley Madison hack investigation in two and explore whether websites like Ashley Madison are a modern day version of a lonely heart scam that used to be perpetrated by old fashioned snail mail back in the day.
Those of you that remember the Sherry murders should also remember they were killed because they were blamed for the disappearance of Kirksey Nix’s pile of money he derived from running a jailhouse lonely heart scam targeted at gay men. Due to the inherent interactivity of romance websites like Ashley Madison where a fictitious account can reel in the marks by the truckload this version of ye ol’ lonely hearts scam need not depend on an extortion component to make big money.
Still in all today after the 2008 financial crash officialdom calls this type of stuff Capitalism. Back in the 1970s such rackets were termed organized crime.