Man at center of 'sextortion' scheme sentenced to five years in prison

A federal judge sentenced a Glendale man to five years in prison Monday for tricking or extorting hundreds of women into giving him naked pictures of themselves. 

Karen Kazaryan, 27, pleaded guilty in July to computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft charges as part of a multiple-count federal indictment, which stated he hacked into more than 350 Facebook, Skype and email accounts, changed the passwords and demanded nude photographs from the accounts’ owners.

Federal officials said they found thousands of nude or partially-nude photographs of women on Kazaryan’s computer.

Kazaryan wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge George King that he was suffering from depression and on marijuana at the time he carried out his “sextortion“ scheme.

“The lines between digital life and reality were blurred and out of control for me,” he wrote to King.

According to U.S. District Attorney’s court documents, Kazaryan was “a sexual cyber terrorist.”

Prosectors said he wasn’t motivated by money, but rather his “currency was naked pictures of women,” and terrorizing his victims for pleasure. 

He used one victim’s account to demand sexually-explicit videos from another. He also forced at least one to strip while he took photographs, according to court documents.

Once he accessed the victims’ accounts, he combed for nude photographs, constantly on the lookout for more passwords, more victims and more photographs, court documents stated. 

While online, he took on the identity of his victims’ friends, coaxing them into sending nude photographs.

If they declined, he posted their nude photographs publicly.

According to court documents, the victims felt like “they had been raped.”


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA


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