A Wichita attorney known as “The Bull” has admitted his involvement in cyber threats against his critics, and a federal court ordered him to pay more than $425,000.
Brad Pistotnik, 63, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of being an accessory after the fact to making an extortionate threat over the internet, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release. The crimes are misdemeanors.
Pistotnik was ordered to pay a $375,000 fine and $55,200 in restitution. He will not serve time in prison or on probation. The fine, restitution and lack of imprisonment or probation were recommended by both parties in a plea deal.
In his plea, Pistotnik admitted that he paid David Dorsett for “reputation management services.” That service included Dorsett sending a flood of emails to Leagle, RipoffReport and Jaburg Wilk demanding that negative information be removed from their websites, prosecutors said. The emails threatened to target their advertisers.
Pistotnik falsely denied knowing about the cyber attacks, which happened in September 2014, McAllister said.
The information that Dorsett wanted taken down included a negative review of Pistotnik and a public disciplinary opinion by the Kansas Supreme Court, according to the plea agreement.
Pistotnik, known for his commercials in which he rides a bull while advertising that he is an accident attorney, was originally charged with five counts of computer fraud, two counts of conspiracy and three counts of making false statements to the FBI.
Dorsett, who was also charged in the original indictment, has a change of plea hearing scheduled for Monday. He is a co-founder of a Wichita business called VIRAL Artificial Intelligence.