Porn trolling mastermind Paul Hansmeier gets 14 years in prison


This post is by Timothy B. Lee from Ars Technica


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Justice.

A federal judge in Minneapolis has sentenced Paul Hansmeier to 14 years in prison for an elaborate fraud scheme that involved uploading pornographic videos to file-sharing networks and then threatening to sue people who downloaded them.

“It is almost incalculable how much your abuse of trust has harmed the administration of justice,” said Judge Joan Ericksen at a Friday sentencing hearing.

We’ve been covering the antics of Hansmeier and his business partner John Steele for many years. Way back in 2012, we started reporting on a law firm called Prenda Law that was filing lawsuits against people for sharing pornographic films online. Prenda wasn’t the only law firm filing these kinds of lawsuits, but Prenda came up with a novel way of ginning up more business: uploading the films itself, including some that were produced by Prenda associates.

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