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AMC CEO says he was the victim of an extortion plot

<i>Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>AMC CEO Adam Aron was the victim of an elaborate catfishing scheme.
Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg/Getty Images
AMC CEO Adam Aron was the victim of an elaborate catfishing scheme.

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

New York (CNN) — Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC Entertainment, admitted Thursday that he was a “victim of an elaborate criminal extortion” plot.

He made the announcement on X, formerly Twitter, writing that he fell victim to a “third party who was unknown to me related to false allegations about my personal life.” He added that instead of giving into blackmail, he “personally engaged counsel and other professional advisors and reported the matter to law enforcement.”

Before Aron released his statement, Semafor reported that Aron fell victim to a catfishing scam that targeted him for hush money and threats. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said last year it charged Sakoya Blackwood with “interstate communications with the intent to extort, cyberstalking, and extortion” and that she targeted a CEO of a publicly traded company, but it wasn’t publicly known until Thursday’s Semafor report, confirmed in part by Aron, who the CEO was.

Investigators said Blackwood created “multiple online identities” to target Aron. She then demanded money to keep messages and photos private, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

On X, Aron continued that following a “vigorous federal criminal investigation,” the perpetrator was convicted this past summer. Blackwood was convicted of cyberstalking and was sentenced to time already served in jail.

He also said that the incident was “entirely a personal matter” and that he informed the AMC’s board of directors, as well as reviewed the events with an independent outside counsel. Aron said that the “matter is closed,” and he remains the CEO of AMC.

AMC’s board of directors said in a statement to CNN that it had “determined it was a personal matter, and considers the issue resolved.”

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