Woman arrested for cybercrime, trying to extort family member

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

A Naples woman is accused of getting into her family member’s home surveillance system and then trying to extort them.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Jennifer Lenell Small, 44, Monday after being accused of accessing videos from a camera system app that she wasn’t allowed to have.

“Since this is a family member, this is going to be complex in court,” said Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety & Security Specialist. “Law enforcement had enough to begin the investigation and found she potentially broke several laws in obtaining electronic footage, audio and video without permission in Florida, which is a two-party state.”

Small was able to get access to the camera and recordings when her husband’s construction company fired the victim, and they turned their work phone back in.

“Typically, trying to break into a system may be difficult,” Kolko said. “But in this case, she had a cell phone with an app already installed. So if it weren’t password protected, it would have been relatively simple to get access to the videos.”

Investigators say Small tried to extort the victim over a contested will.

Kolko says Small most likely got caught because she had too much information.

“Once she has this audio and video, and it’s possible when she went to court or to lawyers, the other party would have figured out that she had access to information,” Kolko said. “They would have asked, ‘Where did she get that?’”

Koko said the steps are easy to make sure this never happens to you.

“If you’ve got a work phone or even a personal phone and you’re done using it, you never know whose hands it could fall into,” Kolko said. “Make sure you wipe your phone clear out the data and photos.”

Investigators say Small told the victim she had hours of videos she would use against him.

Small was booked into Collier County jail on $7,500 bond. There is no mug shot available for Small, since she was arrested by state investigators.

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