A convict accused of running a dating scam with smuggled cellphones from inside an Oklahoma prison was sentenced Tuesday to pay nearly $125,000 in restitution to the victims.
Sean Siwek, 34, used cellphones to set up fake profiles on “voice-based dating” services to ultimately defraud legitimate users out of money, according to Oklahoma City federal prosecutors. Siwek was in prison for robbery and assault convictions.
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron said, “I’m appalled that this kind of conduct can happen inside a state prison.” The judge then chose the punishment for the wire fraud, which Siwek pleaded guilty to in 2015.
In the fraudulent profiles, Siwek and others in the Lawton Correctional Facility “claimed that they were gay men seeking other gay men for sexual encounters,” prosecutors alleged.
Siwek also represented himself to legitimate users as a male prostitute interested in sex with men who were married or had girlfriends, according to prosecutors. After arranging to meet for sex, Siwek would then call the user, claim to be a law enforcement officer and accuse the user of agreeing to have sex with a minor, prosecutors alleged.
Siwek and his unidentified co-conspirators then threatened to bring criminal charges against the victims unless they were paid, according to prosecutors. Siwek usually required the users to purchase prepaid debit cards and provide the numbers over the phone, prosecutors alleged.
Between October 2010 and August 2012, Siwek and others defrauded at least six victims out more than $133,000, court records show. Prosecutors alleged Siwek created profiles in multiple states, including Colorado, Maryland, Ohio and Oklahoma.
In an October 2011 incident, Siwek created a profile under the fake name “Devon Jones.” He claimed he was 24 and living in Elyria, Ohio, according to prosecutors.
After arranging to meet “for a good time sexually,” Siwek called the victim in Ohio and claimed to be Devon Jones’ father, prosecutors alleged. Siwek then accused the victim of communicating with his 15-year-old son, court records show.
Siwek later posed as an FBI agent to the victim and demanded money to prevent criminal charges and for bribing a judge to keep people quiet, according to prosecutors. The Ohio victim provided about $86,000 because of threats of being charged, court records show.
Siwek has been serving a 20-year prison sentence since 2007 following robbery and assault convictions in Oklahoma County District Court, records show. Leading up to his December 2014 federal indictment, Siwek spent about a year in solitary confinement at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester after getting in trouble in Lawton.
He then spent more than two years between the Grady and Logan County jails while awaiting sentencing. The judge didn’t order that Siwek serve any additional time in prison because of the amount spent in McAlester and in the jails.
Siwek now will return to state custody. He is eligible for parole in 2023.