Art gallery owner pleads guilty to cyber-stalking

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Updated: 3/31/2014 10:30 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors say a Southern California gallery owner has pleaded guilty to federal stalking charges for trying to harass and extort as much as $300,000 from art world professionals.

The U.S. attorney's office says 43-year-old Jason White of Temecula pleaded guilty to two counts on Monday. He could get 10 years in prison when he's sentenced in June.

A criminal complaint alleged White engaged in an extortion scheme targeting art professionals with whom he had had business relationships.

When those relationships ended, White posted derogatory information about former associates on websites he created. Prosecutors say White used emails to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for taking the websites down.

The complaint says in one case White wrote on Facebook he would "knee cap" the child of an artist.

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