Search Engine Optimizer Sentenced to More than 3 Years in Prison for Extortion

Search Engine Optimizer Sentenced to More than 3 Years in Prison for Extortion

reputation management company

That’s right! Next time your SEO specialist threatens your rankings, you should remind them of this case. SEO is a competition, yes, but if your retained firm holds rankings over your head they may be crossing a line. The law is starting to catch up.

William Stanley, 53, a/k/a “William Laurence,” “Bill Stanley,” “William Davis,” “William Harris,” and “William L. Stanley,” was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 37 months in federal prison for attempting to extort money from a business in Dallas.

While Stanley engaged in some legitimate SEO strategies, he also employed illegitimate and illegal SEO activities.  Stanley also extorted individuals and companies by threatening to engage in the illegitimate SEO work, this included posting fraudulent comments and creating negative reviews on the web, if the victim did not pay him a certain sum of money. The FBI investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney C.S. Heath prosecuted. The money was wired to Romania.


We have reported a rise, here at, of the number of calls we get from firms engaging large reputation management companies who are then threatened by a third party. The more your name gets around the more likely you are going to get this type of activity. We said it a million times. A small discreet team of professionals working on your file is BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN ORM. This is because when you invest money in reputation management, you are likely to develop a counter party.

Picking the right ORM firm is critical to your long term ORM success. Because the ORM industry is not regulated, you especially need people who are professionals and who understand this type of conduct and code.