South Carolina Inmate, Wendell Wilkins Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Military Sextortion Scheme
Columbia, S.C (STL.News) Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart announced today that Wendell Wilkins, 32, of Spartanburg, was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to money laundering, for his role in a scheme to extort and defraud military members that was operated out of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC).
Evidence presented to the court showed that, while serving a 12-year sentence in SCDC for attempted armed robbery and using smartphones smuggled into prison, Wilkins joined internet dating sites, posed as young women thereon, and began communicating with military members. Posing as young women and targeting military members, Wilkins sent nude photographs of young females to the military members and solicited nude photographs and other personal information in exchange. Wilkins, and others acting at his direction, then posed as the father of the young woman, claiming that the young woman was underage and that the military member was in possession of child pornography. Wilkins and others then threatened to have the military members arrested or dishonorably discharged unless they paid money.
Due to this extortion, service members transferred funds via Western Union and MoneyGram to Wilkins’ associates at Wilkins’ direction.