Where is Ryan J Vallee now? Cyber 'Sextorter' from Netflix's Web of Make Believe
Everything you need to know about the cyber criminal who went to federal prison for threatening and hacking young women.
Last week, Netflix released Web of Make Believe – a brand new documentary series looking into five instances of big cyber crime.
From the Wichita swatting of 2017 to hacker tax fraud, the six-parter explores how some have used the internet to ruin lives – including Ryan Vallee: the extortionist who is the subject of episode 4.
In part 4 of Web of Make Believe, the show tells the story of how authorities tracked down and arrested New Hampshire-based Ryan Vallee after he began coercing teenage girls into sending him sexually explicit photographs and hacking into their social media accounts.
But who is Ryan Vallee and where is he now? Here's everything you need to know.
Who is Ryan J Vallee?
Ryan Vallee is a cyber criminal who pleaded guilty to charges of cyberstalking, computer hacking to extort and interstate threats, after pressuring teenage girls into sending him nude photographs from 2011 onwards.
The New Hampshire resident, who was 23 years old when receiving his prison sentence, began messaging young women under an alias such as 'Seth Williams' or 'James McRow' and asking them for sexually explicit images of themselves, often hacking into their social media accounts and locking them out to force them to cede to his demands, according to the US Department of Justice.
As seen in the documentary, in one instance, Vallee hacked into his victim's Amazon account and used their payment details and address to send them sex-related items.
"On my Amazon account, he bought me a dildo," one victim says in the episode. "He bought me lubrication. He bought me sex videos. When I had to tell my Gram that he had bought me a dildo, when it came in the mail, try to explain that to somebody."
In some cases, Vallee would hack into his victims' Facebook and email accounts, obtain sexually explicit images of them and their friends and send them to the victims' families, while in others, Vallee would threaten his victims with harm through anonymous messaging services if they didn't send him pictures.
All of the women who Vallee had been sextorting attended Belmont High in New Hampshire, which is where 19-year-old Vallee was also a student, Wired reported.
In October 2013, the federal authorities charged Vallee with extortion, however the case was dismissed, according to Reader's Digest. As the detectives working on the case began to gather more evidence, they found that all of the locations he had logged in from could be linked to him in that they were either owned by or close to a family or friend's workplace or home.
In 2015, federal prosecutors charged Vallee with aggravated identity theft, computer fraud and abuse, and interstate threats. He was released on bail and banned from using the internet, but one year later, a victim of his reported that he was harassing her online again. He was tracked down by Secret Service agents and arrested again.
In 2017, he pleaded guilty to 31 counts and sentenced to eight years in federal prison.
Where is Ryan J Vallee now?
While Vallee was sentenced to eight years in prison, the Federal Bureau of Prisons states that he was released from jail on 20th January 2022 at the age of 28.
According to Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet, Vallee and his family members were approached for the documentary but declined to be interviewed.
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