Factory employee admits to blackmail
A woman tried to extort $250,000 from her ex-boss through a series of threatening emails she sent only days after quitting her job.
Shazmatt Samantha Henry had worked at Taranaki By-Products, an animal rendering plant, for almost three years before her sudden departure on July 16.
Eleven days earlier, the manager of the South Taranaki plant had given Henry a letter which told her she was required to attend a meeting with him about an issue concerning ‘‘serious misconduct’’.
The summary of facts stated the 29-year-old never turned up to the meeting and then resigned.
On July 26, the defendant sent the plant manager an email in which she threatened to disclose company information to its customers. She followed up the threat by demanding a payment of $250,000 in order ‘‘to keep quiet’’.
This email was ignored by the victim but he received a similar one the following day, with the same threats.
On August 2, Henry fired off another menacing missive to her ex-boss.
‘‘The victim responded to the third email outlining that if the defendant contacted him again, he would contact the police,’’ the summary of facts said.
In reply, Henry wrote that she had ‘‘enough good footage to close the plant down’’.
After the plant manager received this email, he went to the police.
The defendant’s last contact with the manager was made on August 14, when she told him she had already started to make contact with the company’s customers. When spoken to by police about the blackmail plot, Henry declined to make a statement.
In the Ha¯ wera District Court on Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to a representative charge of blackmail.
Judge Chris Sygrove ordered a pre-sentence report and referred the case to restorative justice.
She was remanded to reappear for sentencing on January 9.