Glendale man pleads guilty in ‘sextortion’ scheme
A Glendale man faces up to seven years in prison after pleading guilty in a “sextortion” case in which he targeted 350 women and coerced them into showing him pictures of them nude.
Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, pleaded guilty this week to one count of identity theft and one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer.
Prosecutors said Kazaryan hacked into the Facebook, Skype and email accounts of victims and changed their passwords, locking them out of their own online accounts.
He then searched emails and other files for naked or semi-naked pictures of the women, as well as other information, such as passwords and the names of their friends.
Kazaryan then posed online as those women and sent instant messages to their friends, convincing them to remove their clothing so he could view and take pictures of them, authorities alleged. Once the victims learned that someone had impersonated their friend, Kazaryan then used the photos to coerce them to remove their clothing on camera, according to authorities.
In all, authorities recovered about 3,000 pictures of nude or semi-nude women, including photos allegedly taken by Kazaryan. Investigators estimate that Kazaryan victimized more than 350 women.
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