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Kansas computer programmer sentenced for cyberattack threat

A computer programmer who offered “reputation management services” to a Wichita lawyer was sentenced Monday to three years of probation and a $2,000 fine for threatening cyberattacks against two websites that criticized that attorney’s work, federal prosecutors said.

VIRAL Artificial Intelligence co-founder David Dorsett pleaded guilty in October to two counts of making extortionate threats via the internet, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.  The 37-year-old Wichita man admitted in his plea that he contacted lawyer Brad Pistotnik in 2014 offering his services.

Pistotnik wanted negative postings removed, including a Kansas Supreme Court disciplinary action.  Prosecutors said that email communications between the men included one in which Pistotnik wrote, “Any luck removing that bad website I showed you?”

Dorsett sent an email barrage to Leagle.com and Ripoffreport.com demanding they remove the information and threatening to target advertisers.  Prosecutors say Dorsett billed Pistotnik for sending the threats and Pistotnik paid him the same day.

Pistotnik was sentenced in October to a $375,000 fine and $55,200 in restitution.

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