Suspect identified in Miss Teen USA ‘sextortion’ case
Federal officials on Thursday said they have identified an individual believed to be involved in an alleged “sextortion” case involving newly crowned Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf from Orange County.
More than a dozen other women had also been identified as victims in the case, but Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles, said agents believe the alleged activity “has been discontinued.”
The investigation, confirmed by the FBI on Wednesday, was ongoing, and no charges had been filed in the case, she added.
Wolf, who was Miss California Teen USA before winning the Miss Teen USA pageant over the weekend at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, said in media interviews that she received an anonymous email from someone claiming to have nude photos of her taken via the webcam on her computer.
Wolf also said the author tried to extort her to ensure that the photos were not made public.
The incident, in which someone was able to hack into Wolf’s computer and turn on its webcam, is the latest in a string of so-called “sextortion” cases involving individuals who have used email accounts, social media or a computer’s own hardware to glean compromising information or images of its user.
In December, 35-year-old Christopher Chaney of Florida was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for procuring naked images of celebrities and other members of the entertainment industry -- including Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson -- by hacking into their email accounts.
And a Glendale man, Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, pleaded guilty last month in a “sextortion” case in which he targeted 350 women and coerced them into showing him pictures of them naked.
In that case, prosecutors said Kazaryan hacked into the Facebook, Skype and email accounts of his victims to coerce them into removing their clothing on camera.
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