AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron has now been identified as a terrible extortion bid victim that took place last year.
The CEO released a public statement on Thursday of a ‘vigorous federal criminal investigation’, which resulted in the extortionist being arrested, convicted of a felony, and spending nearly a year in jail.
Sakoya Blackwood, 35, was charged in a Manhattan federal court indictment with trying to extort AMC CEO Adam Aron out of up to $300,000 to keep her quiet about his sexual escapades, and about a false claim she threatened to make about him having sex with a minor.
Prosecutors have said in a court filing that in addition to that CEO, Blackwood “targeted numerous other potential victims — all wealthy and high-profile men — using fictitious identities, while camouflaging her ownership of the accounts deployed in her catfishing scheme.”
Because she came to the United States from Jamaica as a child without legal immigration status, Blackwood now faces the risk of being deported and separated from her 12-year-old daughter, her lawyer said in a court filing.
Prosecutors in a court filing said Blackwood tried to extort the victim by threatening to “falsely tell the world” that the movie theatre CEO “had sex with a minor.”
That claim was “a blatant lie which she invented out of whole cloth,” the filing noted.
But what was true were sexually explicit photos and messages the CEO shared with Blackwood as she posed in electronic communications as a former romantic partner of the victim.
Blackwood then pretended to be a vengeful ex-boyfriend and employees of media outlets – a deception knows as ‘catfishing’.
“For many months, the defendant kept the Victim suffering from the constant fear that his life would be ruined. She taunted him with the prospect of releasing embarrassing materials and, even worse, false accusations that he had sex with someone who was underage,” the filing said.
Official Statement From AMC CEO Adam Aron
“Because you are so important to me, there is a matter I want to share with you.
By definition, I live my life in the public eye.
Unfortunately, last year I became the victim of an elaborate criminal extortion by a third party who was unknown to me related to false allegations about my personal life.
Rather than give in to blackmail, I personally engaged counsel and other professional advisors and reported the matter to law enforcement.
I did so knowing I risked personal embarrassment.
But with my access to resources, if I did not stand up against blackmail, who could?
A vigorous federal criminal investigation ensued which resulted in the extortionist being arrested, convicted of a felony, and spending nearly a year in jail.
At the time of the arrest, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York commended my having reported the matter to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.
This was entirely a personal matter.
I was asked by law enforcement to keep this matter confidential during their investigation and subsequent court case.
Shortly after the extortionist’s July 2023 sentencing, I informed AMC’s Board of Directors which thoroughly reviewed these events with independent outside counsel at WilmerHale.
As I said above, this indeed was entirely a personal matter, and the matter is closed.
I could not end this message without again thanking you for your support — as well as emphasizing my extreme gratitude to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and to the FBI for their diligent, skillful, and professional handling of this unfortunate matter.”
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