Seattle man's cyberstalking campaign against former friend and co-worker leads to prison time

SEATTLE — A former information technology professional from Seattle was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday for conducting a cyberstalking campaign against multiple victims.

In addition to his sentence, 39-year-old Joel Kurzynski was ordered to pay $37,682 in restitution to the victims.

In U.S. District Court Friday attorneys said 39-year-old Joel Kurzynski threatened, stalked, and humiliated four victims for months, and they had no idea who was behind it.

At Kurzynski’s sentencing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “Cyberstalking and terrorizing people like this is a violent crime and there will be prison sentences.”

According to court documents, Kurzynski orchestrated spam phone calls, created fake dating profiles portraying a victim as seeking underage relationships and made death threats.

"He even impersonated an associated press reporter and indicated that he was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against the victim that were made by at-risk youth at a camp," Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis Franze-Nakamura said.

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"Victim one's life was turned upside down. He had to move from Seattle, he lost his job, he had to disconnect himself from the very social causes he had dedicated his life to."

Court documents also reveal Kurzynski sent rude emails to a co-worker (AKA ‘Victim 2’) that made comments about her weight, and suggested suicide.

He spoofed the victim's phone and she was bombarded with phone calls at work and phone calls and text messages on her cell phone. He sent her death threats at work. The lawfirm hired an armed guard and installed panic buttons.

"The irony here is it was the defendant himself, as a member of the IT department, who was responsible for installing all those panic buttons," Franze-Nakamura said.

Kurzynski cried as he apologized. His victims cried too. Kurzynski had been friends with three of the victims he tormented.

Franze-Nakamura said Kurzynski was a coward, cruel, and obsessed with tormenting and controlling other people.

He is expected to start serving his 30-month sentence in January.