SoCal man arrested in 'sextortion' case

Karen 'Gary' Kazaryan arrested by FBI agents

LOS ANGELES - A Glendale man accused of hacking into hundreds of Facebook, Skype and email accounts, then extorting women to get them to show him their naked bodies was arrested Tuesday on federal computer hacking charges.

Karen "Gary" Kazaryan, 27, was arrested by FBI agents based on a 30-count indictment returned Friday by a federal grand jury, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Kazaryan allegedly hacked into accounts and changed passwords, locking victims out of their own online accounts. Once he controlled the accounts, he allegedly searched emails or other files for naked or semi-naked pictures of the victims, as well as other information, such as passwords and the names of their friends, federal prosecutors said.

Using that information, Kazaryan posed online as women, sent instant messages to their friends, and persuaded the friends to remove their clothing so that he could seen them and take pictures of them, according to the indictment.

When the victims discovered they were not speaking with their friends, Kazaryan often extorted them by using the photos he had fraudulently obtained to coerce the victims into removing their clothing on camera, prosecutors contend.

Kazaryan is charged with 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft.

According to a search warrant executed in 2011 and unsealed Tuesday, Kazaryan repeatedly contacted victims to demand that they expose their breasts to him on Skype. He used their email and Facebook accounts to make contact with other victims, according to the court documents.

Kazaryan allegedly posted nude photos of some victims on their Facebook pages when they refused his demands.

Investigators estimate that Kazaryan victimized more than 350 women, but they have not identified all of them.

Authorities found about 3,000 images of nude or semi-nude women -- some of which were taken from their online accounts and some of which Kazaryan created via Skype -- on Kazaryan's computer, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Kazaryan was urged to call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.

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