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Photoshopped porn pics generate big bucks for blackmailer (and a jail term)

Photoshopping the faces of Communist Party officials onto those of porn actors in an effort to extort money may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the southwest-China resident responsible for this criminal act must surely be regretting his actions as he reflects on his behavior from the confines of a state prison cell.

Identified only as Mr. Zhang, the convicted blackmailer actually made a decent amount of cash out of his illegal behavior, with around 50 politicians coughing up a total of 2.1 million yuan ($340,000) until police finally turned up at his door.

Zhang found that by cutting and pasting officials’ faces onto those of fornicating porn actors and sending those officials a printout of his carefully constructed images with a demand for money, many would actually pay.

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In fact, so convincing was his artwork that two officials reportedly paid as much as 200,00 yuan ($32,500) to stop the blackmailer possibly posting them online or bringing the images directly to the attention of their seniors, which may have resulted in a detailed investigation into their personal lives.

Other doctored photos included ones showing party workers gambling, most forms of which are illegal in mainland China.

The blackmailer was caught at the end of last year when a city mayor in Sichuan province alerted police to the ruse after receiving a Photoshopped image of himself gambling.

Zhang, who was this week sent to the slammer for 13 years, isn’t the first person to swindle officials out of cash in this way. Among a slew of similar cases, eight Photoshoppers working together in a town in central China were arrested last year for blackmailing officials and businessmen to the tune of 4.5 million yuan ($730,000).

[Source: Telegraph, BBC]

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