A Jamaican man chose the wrong person to try to extort: the only one to lead both the FBI and CIA.
William Webster, who is now 94 years old, and his wife, Lynda, were targeted four years ago by a man who peddled a lottery scam over phone calls and emails. Over multiple phone calls, Keniel Aeon Thomas of Jamaica told the Websters he’d set their house ablaze or have a sniper shoot them in the back of the head if they didn’t pay him thousands of dollars, according to prosecutors’ filings.
The Websters say they used their knowledge of the FBI to help send him to prison, which a federal judge did on Friday after both spoke to the court.
William Webster received the first call. The caller, Thomas, identified himself as “David Morgan,” the head of “Mega Millions.” Thomas told Webster he had won $15.5 million and a Mercedez-Benz and needed to wire $50,000 to cover taxes before collecting the award. That’s when Webster first reached out to the FBI.
After his arrest in late 2017 as he got off a plane in New York to visit a friend, Thomas pleaded guilty to one extortion charge. He admitted to threatening the Websters.
One of the victims, an 82-year-old Californian, responded to Thomas, who had called himself “Obama” on the phone, by sending him more than $600,000 in one year, prosecutors said. Another man in California paid Thomas $87,000.
Thomas, who is 29, received a sentence of almost six years in prison and then will be deported to Jamaica. He has been in jail in New York and DC since his arrest, where his attorney says he’s been beaten multiple times because of his nationality.
Before learning his sentence, Thomas turned away from the judge to face the Websters, who were sitting in the courtroom. “I really didn’t mean to hurt you guys,” he said, before speaking about his home country. “We love you guys. We love tourists.”