Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 | 2:27 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 | 8:14 p.m.
FBI agents arrested a man who they say was trying to extort $100,000 from a victim he thought to be a prominent gambler, and who he claimed to have recorded in a sexual encounter at a Las Vegas Strip resort, according to federal authorities.
Fredi Kazimirsky, 27, was charged today with one count of use of a facility of interstate commerce to promote extortion, according to the office of the U.S. attorney for the district of Nevada.
After his June 28 arrest in a sting operation set up by the FBI — when he thought he was getting about half the money he was demanding — Kazimirsky admitted to sending the threatening messages, but told agents he was joking and was only trying to teach the victim a lesson, according to a federal complaint.
Two months prior, the out-of-state victim was in Las Vegas where he hired a prostitute later identified as Kazimirsky, the complaint said. The pair had an intimate encounter in a hotel room and planned to meet again in late June.
In Las Vegas around the time they were supposed to see each other, the victim said he could no longer meet up with Kazimirsky, the complaint said.
That’s when the threatening messages began.
“I have a surprise for you,” one text message said. In other message, the person on the other line said that he had filmed the “action” and that the victim had 24 hours to cough up $100,000 cash, the complaint said.
Otherwise, the messages said, porn sites would offer tens of thousands of dollars for the footage, and a prominent gossip website would give $300,000 for an interview, the complaint said. The extorter had done it before, a message read.
“I don’t play no games. And don’t try anything funny for me (sic),” read one message, according to the complaint. A message said he was heading back to Russia “for good” in July.
Within a day, the victim contacted the FBI, which set up a sting operation, the complaint said. The victim was to meet with Kazimirsky and supposedly give him $54,000.
Kazimirsky allegedly said he would accept a later payment of $46,000, according to the complaint.
But instead, he was arrested at an off-Strip hotel, the complaint said. He told agents that he’d learned that the victim was a “famous and professional high stakes gambler” by searching his name on the internet, the complaint said.
Kazimirsky was arraigned today in federal court in Las Vegas. A trial has been scheduled for Oct. 7, officials said. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.