A Massachusetts man has admitted to sending the CEO of a popular dating site threatening letters that he claimed contained deadly substances, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Liam MacLeod, 47, was sentenced to probation on Thursday after pleading guilty to sending nine letters to the CEO of OKCupid.com in Dallas between September and December 2017, the office of U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said in a statement.
Each of the letters contained threatening communications or suspicious substances, prosecutors said. Two of the letters contained substances that MacLeod described as anthrax or AIDS-infected blood.
MacLeod had been banned from OkCupid, The Salem News reported in February, when MacLeod was initially charged.
"Greetings from Beverly," read one handwritten letter from MacLeod which he said contained anthrax, according to prosecutors. "Ban me will ya. Welcome to the wonderful world of ANTHRAX."
Later that month, MacLeod sent the CEO a blank piece of paper stained with what is believed to be blood, according prosecutors. The next day, he sent another letter that claimed the prior one included blood that was infected with the AIDS virus.
MacLeod sent five more envelopes to the CEO that year, each of which prompted federal law enforcement officers to respond. Tests confirmed that the substances in the envelopes were not hazardous materials, as MacLeod had claimed, prosecutors said.
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MacLeod pleaded guilty to two counts of mailing threatening communications and two counts of conveying false information concerning purported biological weapons in June 2019, prosecutors said.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris sentenced MacLeod to two years of probation, with two months in a halfway house and eight more in a sober house on home confinement, prosecutors said.
His public defender sought probation because he said MacLeod suffers from numerous physical and psychiatric ailments requiring substantial medical care.
Lelling's office had sought five months in prison and supervised release.