Gangland widow Roberta Williams escapes jail time after blackmailing producer

Ryan Naumenko came up with a plan to turn the life of gangland widow Roberta Williams into a reality TV series called Mob Wives.

But even before the first episode was over, he became the victim of a conspiracy arranged by Williams, whose late husband was underworld killer Carl Williams and others.

Williams, 53, avoided jail time in Victoria District Court on Friday over an incident that left Naumenko fearing for his life.

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Instead, she was ordered to be supervised for two years and complete any recommended mental health treatments or offender programs.

Roberta Williams (centre) has avoided going to jail after blackmailing a reality TV show producer. Recognition: AAP

The court heard Naumenko approached Williams via Instagram in May 2019 to direct a reality series about her life.

Within a month, he had set up a “Go Fund Me” page and claimed there was investor interest from Netflix.

He found a producer who would pledge $10,000 and arrangements were made to rent a location in Melbourne’s Bayside suburbs.

In late June 2019, Williams wanted out but was convinced to go ahead, and a week later she spent a day filming for the show.

But in the coming days, the court said, Williams and a man hired to film the program concluded that they were being scammed and that nothing Naumenko told them about the money raised was true.

Williams, 53, avoided jail time on Friday over an incident that left Mr Naumenko in fear for his life. Recognition: AAP

On July 8, Williams hatched a plan to extort Naumenko for money she believed was owed to her and others.

She arranged for a friend to help, and he offered to bring “the boys” – Hassan Al-Zwainy and Jake Sexton.

Naumenko was lured to a store in Collingwood under the pretense of viewing edited footage.

Instead, he was attacked and threatened for three terrifying hours.

Naumenko was forced to transfer ownership of his mother’s car and to call his father and sister to get them to transfer $1,000 to an account linked to the group.

Sexton threatened to break Naumenko’s hands, saying he had a friend who would burn him. The court heard one of the men pulled out a gun.

Judge Todd ruled not to order community labor for Williams, who is the only caregiver for her special needs son. Recognition: AAP

“You should have walked away when you first had the instinct to do so,” Judge Fiona Todd told Williams, who has pleaded guilty to racketeering and reckless injury.

Although she was not involved in the attack on Naumenko, Williams was complicit in her presence and the recruitment of another, the judge said.

Judge Todd ruled not to order community labor for Williams, who is the only caregiver for her senior special needs son.

It takes mercy, she said.

Sexton, now 27, pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury. He was convicted and sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

Al-Zwainy, 26, admitted to injuring himself carelessly. He evaded conviction but was ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid community service and pay an $800 fine.

Judge Todd noted that he was uncomfortable with the attack but lacked the courage to do anything about it.

She noted that he had accepted responsibility for his role after another man was initially misidentified as an accomplice. Gangland widow Roberta Williams escapes jail time after blackmailing producer

James Brien

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