SEATTLE — A shakedown artist who bilked a string of men she met online out of $300,000 by demanding cash for phony abortions and threatening to expose the married men with whom she had affairs has been sentenced to a month behind bars.
Seul Ki Yum, 26, of Olympia, Washington pleaded guilty to five counts of extortion last month, admitting that she hunted down at least seven men over three years through online dating sites like Tinder, Seeking Arrangements and OkCupid and then shook them down for cash to finance her lifestyle.
“I am very ashamed and very embarrassed of my behavior,” she told the judge, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “I would give anything back to have a normal life.”
Yum often would contact the men after they had called the relationship off and falsely claim to be pregnant and demand money for an abortion. For those who were married, she threatened to expose the affair to their wives.
But even after they paid her, Yum, would often return for more, sometimes saying she had a roommate who knew about the affair and would also need cash to stay silent.
One man, a high-end California wine dealer who is under investigation by the FBI for embezzlement, paid Yum nearly $240,000 over about two years after she threatened to tell his wife if she did not receive $10,000 per month.
Yum was arrested in October 2016 after one of her victims wore a wire and recorded talking about extorting him.
Given that it was Yum’s first offense, and prosecutors felt she had shown legitimate remorse for her behavior, they agreed to a sentence of just 30 days in jail or work release, and an additional 60 days of home detention.