Unbelievably, in this age of immediate information capture, a California man (a former registered agent and manager of New York Life Insurance Company) attempted to extort 3 million dollars from New York Life via a public website. Below are a background and breakdown of the (now) defendant, Anthony Digati’s extortionate activities in regard to this matter.
At some point in 2007, Mr. Digati purchased a variable universal life insurance (VUL) policy with New York Life. Unlike term or whole life policies, a VUL allows the insured to select the premiums investment funds placement. A VUL’s value fluctuates with the stock market. Apparently unhappy with his policy’s performance, in January 2010, Mr. Digati spoke with a NYL customer service representative. The issue was obviously not resolved then as Mr. Digati then took the following steps:
1. Subsequent to his NYL CS personnel conversation, Mr. Digati purchased a domain: www.newyorklifeproducts.com.
2. On February 4, 2010, he then sent a letter, via USPS regular mail, to the New York City headquarters of NYL, demanding the immediate return of all of his paid premiums.
3. On February 11, 2010, Mr. Digati was sent a letter from a NYL representative, declining to refund Mr,. Digati’s paid premiums; also explaining to him that his policy was tied to the stock market and therefore performed on a fluctuating basis.
4. On February 22, 2010, Mr. Digati sent an email to several dozen NYL employees, including one board member, directing them to the website: www.newyorklifeproducts.com.
5. On this very public website, Mr, Digati posted an escalating, date-driven, monetary demand timetable. (If his initial demands for approximately $198,000+ were not met by March 8, 2010, the new extortion rate would jump to $3 million.)
6. Mr. Digati outlined his plan to achieve this money demand in great details. He had compiled a list of people aged 25 – 40 who might be interested in a NYL insurance policy and one of 200,000 NYL insurance agents. With the first list, he intended to direct innocent potential policy purchasers to his site to reveal to them hidden the “evils” of NYL products. With the latter, his intent was to cause confusion and disrupt business as usual as the agents would then be upset and calling in, requiring explanations, assurances… that the company was stable and not “On The Run”.
A direct post from Mr. Digati’s site:
” No judge in the world is going to rule for a 200 billion dollar company when there is a lonely customer that you stole from!”
As you can imagine, the complaint is full of these types of incredible statements and even more headshaking comments such as: “I know how to do this and effect maximum damage to your company’s reputation”. It is impossible to discern Mr. Digati’s thought process in placing these extorting posts on such a very public forum!
For additional legal commentary, please proceed to the entire indictment.
BNI Operatives: Street smart: Web savvy.
As always, stay safe.