A Glendale man who pleaded guilty in a federal “sextortion” case, in which he targeted 350 women, coercing them into showing him pictures of themselves nude, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.
Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, pleaded guilty in July to one count of identity theft and one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer. He was sentenced to 60 months.
Prosecutors said Kazaryan hacked into the victims' Facebook,
Skype and email accounts and changed their passwords, locking them out of the accounts. He then searched for naked or semi-naked pictures of the victims, as well as other passwords and the names of victims’ friends.
With that information, prosecutors said, he posed online as those women and sent instant messages to their friends, persuading them to remove their clothing so he could see and take pictures of them.
When the victims discovered that someone was impersonating their friend, Kazaryan then extorted more pictures from them, using the photos he had already obtained as leverage.
Kazaryan would post the nude photos on their Facebook accounts if they didn't comply with his demands, officials said.
In a search warrant executed in 2011 and unsealed last January — the month he was arrested — investigators discovered about 3,000 pictures of nude and semi-nude women. Some of the images were stolen from their online accounts, and some were taken by Kazaryan.
Federal authorities have said they have not identified all the victims in the photos.