A Huntington man was arraigned Saturday on two felony charges after police say he faked his own kidnapping in an attempt to have his mother pay ransom.
Michael Sorbera, 31, sent text messages to his mother, identified by Nassau County police as a 62-year-old woman, saying that he was in trouble, police said in a news release. An unknown man then made a call to Sorbera’s mother from Sorbera’s cellphone and directed her to wire money to Western Union in her son’s name or else he would physically harm her and Sorbera, police said.
During the phone call, Sorbera stated that he was kidnapped and begged his mother to send the money, police said. The mother reported the incident to police and officers determined Sorbera was at home and was not kidnapped nor in extreme danger. Sorbera was then placed under arrest and has been charged with second-degree attempted grand larceny by extortion, a class D felony, and fourth-degree conspiracy, a class E felony, for the incident that occurred on Friday, according to police and court records. He was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead where bail was set at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash, court records show. Sorbera, who is being represented by Nassau County Legal Aid, is due back in court on Tuesday.