New York Personal Injury Law Blog » criminal law, Kyle Prall, Marc Randazza


September 20th, 2012

Is Kyle Prall an Extortionist?

Kyle Prall, founder of, is seen in an undated police booking photo from the McLean County Sheriff's Department. Prall's website collects publicly accessible police booking photos and displays them. People who find their mug shots displayed on Prall's website, or others like it, can have the pictures removed for what they refer to as a "nominal fee." REUTERS/McLean County Sheriff's Office/Handout

Earlier this year the legal blogosphere saw a disturbing act, when First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza was the subject of abuse. A woman, that he declined to represent, bought URLs with his name, and those of his wife and child, and sought to destroy his Google reputation with her search engine friendly rantings. Then she offered to pull the postings down for a fee.

Bloggers ripped her up, down and sideways for her conduct, amid claims that this was extortion.

But she is not alone, it appears, in this type of racket. Enter, stage right, Kyle Prall, from Travis County Texas.

Kyle Prall doesn’t dwell in the sewer of creating content and then pretending to be in the “reputation management” business of offering it to be removed, but he is darned close.

His modus operandi is to get mug shots from those that are arrested, put them on the, and index them with the name, town and state of the arrest. In other words, in a very SEO-friendly manner to make sure that anyone Googling the person’s name will find the picture.

Never mind that a mug shot isn’t a conviction of anything. You really think he cares? This is about reputation destruction.

Then he offers to remove the information for a fee. Reputation management, at your service. So what if he played a huge part in destroying that reputation?

From Reuters today comes the story and the, ahem, fees, for having him help you recover your internet reputation by taking down the mug shot and arrest information that he put up. The subject is Janet LaBarba, one of Kyle Prall’s victims:

LaBarba paid what the site describes as “nominal” fees – $68 per photo for service within 10 business days, $108 within 24 hours – to make the photos disappear. An Internet search of her name now leads to genial photos of LaBarba pictured with lots of friends.

I’m not a criminal defense guy, so I won’t give definitions of extortion. But I do wonder what others have to say on it, because it sure looks extortionate to me.

More importantly, perhaps, I wonder what Kyle Prall tells his family and friends what he does for a living. Does he tell them that he deliberately tries to hurt others so that he hopes to profit from the pain he induces?

When the book of his life is ultimately written, what will he say that he did for society? Who did he help? What did he create? What is his legacy?

What will his tombstone say?

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3 thoughts on “Is Kyle Prall an Extortionist?

  1. About 10 year ago the local paper in the town where I practice ophthalmology published a full page of mugshots belonging to registered sex offenders in the area. One of my patients was in it. The next day he attempted suicide and nearly succeeded. I’m glad that he didn’t. I don’t know why he is a registered sex offender but he is not a worthless person. It makes me wonder about the consequences for the faces on that page. I know it was not illegal for the paper to use the information but it certainly wasn’t ethical.

  2. The arrests are public records. And so, historically, there are always politicians someplace eager to publicize mug shots and arrests, as if that is the same thing as a conviction.

    And when a person is exonerated many moons later, the legacy picture is still there. In the days of print, it could be something that gets blown over, but with the web, those shots can painfully live forever. And some have found a way to exploit that pain for their own gain.

  3. This is were to submit to submit an ethics complaint against Kyle Prall. She took a report. His company has a code of ethics. She also gave me the Texas Dept of Public Safety to file a complaint against Kyle Prall. That number is Don Clendennen 512-997-4179.

    Submit Ethics Report
    Anyone who has suspicions of fraud, theft, illegal bribes or other violations of ERCOT’s Ethics Agreement or Code of Conduct may submit an EthicsPoint report through the EthicsPoint website or by calling 1-866-ETHICSP (384-4277). Reporting parties may choose to remain anonymous.

    The company is ERCOT – ERCOT Austin. 7620 Metro Center Drive Austin, Texas 78744 512-225-7000 Kyle Prall works here as a Financial Analyst.