This “Love Sorcerer” Scammed 200 People In 12 Countries Who Were Seeking Love
An Argentine man was supposed to help people find romantic success, but instead, he extorted them. Ariel Boiteux, 31, was sentenced to two years in prison for masterminding an extortion scheme that preyed on people trying to find love through magic spells. A self-described sorcerer and love expert, Boiteux was among four suspects convicted in the extortion scheme that used offers of brujería (witchcraft) to help people make others fall in love with them. But the service was anything but that.
There are an estimated 200 victims in at least 12 countries who fell victim to the extortion scheme.
When people contacted Boiteux’s company, Ammares Inmediatos, they would be asked to record themselves performing sexually explicit rituals and send it to him. The group would offer to perform rituals remotely for clients and told them to use specific items like candles, photographs, and alcohol, and to record the acts.
After clients recorded and sent the explicit content, Boiteux and associates would threaten to post the videos on social media unless they paid him in “large sums of money.” According to the Washington Post, the company even posted some of those explicit videos to websites, Facebook and Instagram. Boiteux would then force clients to pay to take down the posts.
The scheme originated from Latin American industry, which has crossed into the mainstream in recent years, where spirit doctors use black or white magic to make others fall in love. The estimated 200 victims came from around the globe in places the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy.
The scheme started back in 2015 when Boiteux advertised his brujería services across social media.
According to the plea agreement, the services were advertised through Facebook, Instagram, and MercadoLibre, an Argentina-based online marketplace similar to Craigslist. It was there that clients flocked to him and would pay for the services.
In one case, Boiteux blackmailed and demanded $250,000 from a female client that was described as a “well-connected public figure with access to significant financial resources.” Boiteux’ and his associates had already made her wire $7,200 through Western Union but they used that as leverage for more. She was threatened again that they would publicize the sexual content unless she paid more than $250,000.
In 2017, the extortion scheme began falling apart as authorities tracked Boiteux.
In October 2017, an agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called the company asking to purchase the recordings of a previous client. Their explicit content had been partially uploaded to various websites in another extortion attempt. The agent then wired a payment to a bank account in Paraguay. When Boiteux went to get the money he was arrested by Paraguayan police and extradited to San Diego last July.
After being arrested, Boiteux still showed unstable signs of his mental state.
When extradited to San Diego, Boiteux’s mental state was in question. Before his transfer, he reportedly wired his mouth shut as part of a hunger strike. Then, during his first court appearance in San Diego when the judge asked him to confirm his identity, he responded with a statement about angels.
Nonetheless, after the mental competency exam, he was found fit to move forward with the case and pleaded guilty to one count of extortion. Boiteux was charged with foreign transmission of an extortionate threat and will now be serving two years in federal prison.
“This was a despicable scheme that preyed upon people who put their trust in a phony,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said. “This defendant used the vulnerability of the lovelorn to humiliate and extort them, and for that, he will pay a price.”
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