Fired UGA employee accused of blackmailing students

But when he found students downloading material against university policy, he began taking matters into his own hands, according to UGA police.

Dorin Lucian Dehelean, 37, was arrested Monday evening and charged with extortion, according to Chief Jimmy Williamson with university police. He was relieved of his duties in the IT department, Williamson said.

When the recording industry finds people illegally downloading material, companies pass on the IP addresses to people such as Dehelean, Williamson said. In his job, Dehelean was in charge of tracking down those responsible for downloading material on campus computers.

But one female student reported that Dehelean had asked for money as a way to make her copyright violation go away, Williamson said.

"He used his authority to coerce money out of her," Williamson said Wednesday.

The student declined the blackmail offer.

Dehelean was arrested following an investigation, and has since been released from the Clarke County jail.

Police believe other students or faculty members could have also been victims of Dehelean's scam, Williamson said. Other potential victims are asked to come forward with information.

"He was in a position of trust, and he should know that he can't do those things," Williamson said.

Dehelean declined to comment when reached by telephone at his Watkinsville home Wednesday afternoon. His attorney, John McArthur, also declined to discuss specifics of the case at this time.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.