MISSOULA — A California man who admitted blackmailing an individual for years by threatening to inform on the person if he wasn't paid money was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation.
Bryan Gregg Waterfield Nash, 57, of Woodside, CA, pleaded guilty in May to blackmail, a misdemeanor, according to U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided.
The prosecution said in court documents that the blackmail began in December 2013 and ran until about June 2019 in Whitefish and in northern California.
Nash knew the victim, identified as John Doe 1, for many years.
Beginning in about December 2013, Nash frequently communicated with John Doe 1 in person and electronically and with his family, friends and colleagues.
Nash demanded money from John Doe 1, accused the victim of committing federal crimes, including tax fraud, and repeatedly asked for financial assistance.
When John Doe 1 stopped responding to Nash, Nash intensified communications with the victim's family, friends, employees and privately-retained lawyers, according to prosecutors.
Many of the messages referenced the victim being investigated by the IRS or FBI, and Nash repeatedly asked to meet with the victim's lawyers to "settle" with the victim.
Nash's requests to settle with John Doe 1 were in consideration for not filing a civil complaint against the victim or reporting his alleged crimes to law enforcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Racicot and Ryan Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.