A Glendale man who pleaded guilty in a federal “sextortion” case in which he targeted 350 women and coerced them into showing him pictures of themselves nude is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
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 faces up to seven years in prison, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Prosecutors said Kazaryan hacked into Facebook, Skype and email accounts of the victims and changed their passwords, locking them out of their own online accounts. He then searched for naked or semi-naked pictures of the victims, including 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, convincing them to remove their clothing so he could view and take pictures of them. When the victims discovered that someone else was impersonating their friend, Kazaryan then extorted them again for more pictures, using the photos he had fraudulently obtained.
Kazaryan would post the nude photos on their Facebook accounts if they failed to comply with his demands, officials said.
In a search warrant executed in 2011 and unsealed this past January — the same month he was arrested — investigators discovered approximately 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.
Anyone with information or who may be a victim can call a local FBI office.
-- Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times