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LA man charged in ‘sextortion’ hackings

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (UPI) — A Los Angeles-area man was arraigned in federal court Tuesday for allegedly conning hundreds of women into posing for racy online images.

Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, Glendale, was accused of hacking into the victims’ Facebook accounts and then posing as their “friends” in order to convince them to remove their clothing and extorting them if they refused.

Kazaryan allegedly victimized about 350 women until he was served with a search warrant in 2011, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles said in a written statement. He was indicted on 30 counts of computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors said Kazaryan allegedly hacked into Facebook accounts to collect photos, passwords and names of friends from the women. Kazaryan is accused of using the information to send instant messages or emails to the victims and their friends demanding they expose themselves to him on Skype.

The defendant allegedly threatened to post nude photos of some victims on their Facebook pages if they refused to comply with his demands. So far, about 3,000 compromising photos have been seized from Kazaryan, and the FBI was continuing to investigate.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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