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Sextortion: Hacker Accused of Forcing Women to Send Him Nude Pics Of Themselves
A Glendale man is behind bars after being busted for an elaborate online scheme of "sextortion" that had the 27-year-old hacking social media and other accounts as a means to get women to send him naked photos of themselves.
Karen "Gary" Kazaryan was arrested Tuesday morning without incident by special agents with the FBI, according to the Department of Justice.
Kazaryan is accused of gaining unauthorized access into e-mail, Facebook, and Skype accounts of several women, then changing the passwords to lock out the victims. Once inside the accounts, Kazaryan allegedly combed their files, digging for naked or half-naked photos of the women, as well as other passwords and contact info for the victims' friends.
The suspect allegedly pretended to be the women, and messaged their friends online, talking them into taking off their clothes so he could take photos of them. Kazaryan took it another step, though, riffing on the strained relationship and his hacked access, according to the indictment: "When the victims discovered that they were not speaking with their friends, Kazaryan often extorted them again, using the photos he had fraudulently obtained to again coerce the victims to remove their clothing on camera."
If the women didn't comply, Kazaryan would push and humiliate them by posting nude pictures of them on their own Facebook pages. He is also accused of contacting them repeatedly to demand they show him their breasts live on Skype.
Not all of Kazaryan's victims have been identified so far; authorities believe he "sextorted" over 350 women. He had about 3,000 naked or near-naked photos of women on his computer.
In total, Kazaryan was charged in the indictment with 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft. If convicted on all counts, Kazaryan faces a statutory maximum penalty of 105 years in federal prison.