TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A man who wanted to have the largest collection of amateur pornography in the world heard his sentence in a federal court Wednesday. Richard Finkbiner admitted to child exploitation, extortion and child pornography possession.
40-year-old Finkbiner received what is, in essence, a life sentence; 40 years in prison for what federal prosecutors describe as a highly orchestrated scheme that terrorized hundreds of teens.
His victims are from as near by as Avon, Ind. to as far away as Alaska.
"More than 22,000 videos that Mr. Finkbiner made of individuals online," said U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett. "More than 47,000 images of child pornography that Mr. Finkbiner had collected."
The numbers only tell part of his story.
Over and over again Finkbiner would use a webcam to tape unsuspecting teens performing sex acts, then he would threaten to post those videos online unless the teen recorded even more embarrassing videos.
"Mr. Finkbiner was not interested in money nor fame. His currency was power," said Hogsett.
The men who worked this case hope Finkbiner's story resonates with parents.
"As the court pointed out, Mr. Finkbiner is, in fact, the predator, that all parents are afraid of," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers.
Technology and, more importantly, the expertise used by these predators can allow them into your home through your child's on-line activities. The moral of the story: be involved in your child's digital life.
"Get to know your children's Facebook friends," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brant Cook. "Get to know every profile that they have in the online community. Know what that is, who they're talking to and just generally be involved."
Finkbiner must also pay a $70,000 fine. Once released from prison, he will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.
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