A chef posed as a woman to encourage another man to send naked pictures of himself online, before claiming to be an underage girl and blackmailing him for £6,000.
Father-of-two Richard Stacey, 21, told his horrified victim he would be named online as a paedophile if he did not pay the cash, a court heard .
Stacey, of Eastleigh, Hants, blackmailed the man out of more than £6,000 in a series of installments.
Stacey was this week beginning a jail term of three years and nine months after admitting blackmail.
Prosecutor Matthew Lawson told Southampton Crown Court, Hants., the defendant set up a profile on a dating website in March 2015 pretending to be an 18-year-old woman called Stacey.
He was contacted by the victim and they began exchanging messages, which quickly turned sexual.
The pair exchanged mobile phone numbers and swapped more sexual text messages and later pictures, including naked ones.
But the victim then received a message which said the girl was actually 15.
Mr Lawson said: “Stacey began threatening the victim saying he had been texting a 15-year-old and he wanted the victim to pay him money or he would go to the police.
“He then said that if he did not pay he was going to put all of the photos and messages the victim had sent onto the internet and social media sites.”
The con continued for six months. The terrified victim, who cannot be named, even resorted to stealing from his employer to pay Stacey.
He finally decided to report the blackmail to Hampshire Police after struggling to keep up with Stacey’s demands for cash.
The victim came clean to his place of employment, which allowed him to keep his job because of his confession.
In a victim impact statement he said: “I have been living in fear that this would be posted online.
“I am ashamed of how I treated my family and having to take money from them in order to pay the defendant. I am ashamed of what I have done to my work by taking money from them.”
Mark Florida-James, defending, said Stacey had two children with fiancee and worked as a chef for a pub chain since he was 17.
He added: “The obvious question really is what is the motivation for this? I have asked that of him and he said, and he was very candid in doing so, that was simple greed.”
Judge Peter Henry said: “What you did was both ugly, deeply unpleasant and insidious and it did have a considerable effect on the victim.”
As Stacey was led to the cells his partner, who was sat in court and wept throughout the hearing, shouted “Love you”.
He will have to return to court on September 5 for a confiscation hearing and could be ordered to repay all of the money he blackmailed out of the victim.