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Warrenville man sentenced to serve 10 years in prison after impersonating federal agent; extortion of woman

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A Warrenville man will spend 10 years in federal prison .

Brian Lydell Robinson, 39, of Warrenville was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to extortion and impersonating an officer of the United States, according to a media release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of South Carolina.

Robinson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel and will serve three years of court supervision after his release.

Robinson is not eligible for parole in the federal system.

Evidence presented to the court showed that beginning in the spring 2019, Robinson used a dating app to contact a Mount Pleasant woman and solicit commercial sex, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina. 

Robinson used multiple telephone numbers from a single device and posed as a Department of Justice investigator working for the U.S. Attorney's Office investigating a politically connected sex trafficker, the release said.

Robinson told the victim she would be prosecuted for prostitution, which would ruin her reputation unless she assisted in an undercover operation against a sex trafficker, the release said.

Investigators determined there wasn’t an investigation and Robinson extorted money and sex from his victim by posing as the sex trafficker under investigation, the investigator and as a defense lawyer, the release said.

“The Defendant terrorized and exploited his victim through extreme deception and intimidation, and he deserves to go to prison,” U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs said in a release. “We will not tolerate predators posing as law enforcement officers. Those who impersonate federal agents, or use the threat of federal prosecution, to exploit the public will encounter actual federal agents and real prosecution. If you have a question about whether a person is actually a law enforcement officer, call the agency using a publicly posted phone number and ask for verification.”

Investigators determined that Robinson lured the victim across state lines and sexually exploited her with this ruse and, acting as the sex trafficker supposedly under investigation, confronted the victim and told her that he knew that she was working for law enforcement, the report said.

Investigators say Robinson assured the victim he could keep them both out of trouble through the services of a well-positioned defense attorney, but said that the victim would owe him money, the release said.

After Robinson allegedly placed a call to the defense attorney, the victim was contacted by the fictitious federal agent, who claimed that his case had been temporarily suspended because of Robinson’s attorney, the report said.

For seven months, Robinson extorted the victim for money to pay for non-existent legal services under the false premise that such services were needed to avoid federal prosecution, according to the report.

Once the victim ran out of funds, Robinson extorted sex and pornographic materials from the victim in lieu of payment, the release said.

Robinson was reported to police after he demanded the victim have sex with multiple men at the same time and was fearful of being abducted, the release said.

Robinson has multiple prior convictions including forgery, obtaining property under false pretenses and burglary, the report said.

Homeland Security Investigations, SLED and Mount Pleasant Police Department investigated the case and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris Schoen and Elliott B. Daniels.