A 25-year-old Las Vegas woman had her ex-boyfriend arrested four times by creating a fake Facebook profile in his name and threatening herself with it, according to prosecutors. However, when authorities investigated the “threats” further they found that they were coming from the woman’s own IP address. She pleaded guilty to two felonies and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail this week.
It all started last fall when the woman, Stephani Lawson, claimed that her ex-boyfriend, Tyler Parkervest, had stalked, kidnapped and beaten her. Her proof these crimes had occurred? Screenshots of Facebook messages sent to her from a Facebook account named “Tyler Parker.” She repeatedly reported her ex to the police, and he was charged with kidnapping, battery, making threats and more — she even claimed that he threatened her not to testify in court. However, authorities eventually became suspicious of the Facebook screenshots.
“One of my DA colleagues looked at it and said, ‘It doesn’t look right,’ and that triggered in our mind, ‘Maybe we need to look into this further,” Deputy District Attorney Mark Geller said.
That’s when the cops realized that the threatening messages were being sent from Lawson’s own computer. All charges against Parkervest were dropped last month, though this incident shows just how easily someone can create a fake profile. Facebook’s rules specifically ban users from creating fake profiles, but policing compliance on this issue is another matter? The site claims to be able to detect fraudulent accounts, but it certainly whiffed big on this one.