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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
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FBI Makes ‘Sextortionist’ Bust

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The FBI arrested a "sextortionist" on Tuesday, accusing the Glendale man of hacking into hundreds of online accounts and "extorting women into showing him their naked bodies," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Karen "Gary" Kazaryan, 27, was arrested on a 30-count federal grand jury indictment, after allegedly "hacking into hundreds of Facebook, Skype and email accounts," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

According to the indictment, Kazaryan hacked into women's accounts and changed the passwords, locking them out of their own accounts.

"Once he controlled the accounts, Kazaryan searched emails or other files for naked or semi-naked pictures of the victims, as well as other information, such as passwords and the names of their friends. Using that information, Kazaryan posed online as women, sent instant messages to their friends, and persuaded the friends to remove their clothing so that he could view and take pictures of them," prosecutors said in the statement.

"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."

Kazaryan is charged with 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft. He demanded that women show him their breasts, and if they refused sometimes posted nude photos of them on their Facebook pages, prosecutors said, citing a 2011 search warrant that was unsealed Tuesday.

He had photos of about 3,000 nude or seminude women, and not all of them have been identified, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

People who believe they have been victimized may call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.

If convicted on all counts, Kazaryan faces up to 105 years in federal prison.

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