LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Federal prosecutors said a 27-year-old Glendale man hacked into hundreds of social media and email accounts to coerce women online to get naked.
Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.
The suspect, who remains jailed on a $75,000 bond, could be sent to federal prison for 105 years if he’s convicted of the charges.
Kazaryan allegedly hacked into young, unsuspecting women’s computers, changed their passwords and took control of their online accounts.
“Once he was inside the accounts, he would search for naked pictures… password information…friend information. Once he had that information, he would pose as these individuals and contact their friends on Facebook, Instant Messenger and Skype and pretend to be them,” said Wilkison.
According to a federal indictment, Kazaryan would then try to persuade the women’s friends to expose themselves to him via Skype.
“If he couldn’t convince them to remove their clothing, he would then extort them. He would find their naked pictures, use naked pictures obtained on Skype, and tell them he would post those naked pictures on Skype…on Facebook,” said Wilkison.
Kazaryan supposedly targeted more than 350 women.
A search of the suspect’s laptop yielded more than 3,000 nude images. Some of the photos were of girls as young as 16.
“We probably have not identified all of them,” said Wilkison. “It was a horrifying, humiliating, terrible experience for these women. It’s a case we have taken extremely seriously.”
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar said the suspect was previously arrested for rape and drug possession, but the cases never made it to trial.
Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Kazaryan was urged to call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.