LOS ANGELES >> A man’s unusually complicated hunt for nudity on the Internet may land him in prison for more than 100 years after federal prosecutors say he hacked into hundreds of social media and email accounts to coerce more than 350 women into showing him their naked bodies.
Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, of Glendale, was arrested Tuesday after he was named in an indictment Friday alleging 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.
Prosecutors accuse Kazaryan of hacking into the women’s accounts and searching Facebook messages, emails and other files for nude or semi-nude pictures of them.
He then posed as a friend, persuading them to strip while he watched via Skype, captured images of them, or both.
When the women discovered that Kazaryan was posing as a friend, he often blackmailed them with the nude photos he had fraudulently obtained to coerce more stripping, prosecutors said. In some cases, he’s accused of posting the nude photos to the victims’ Facebook pages.
About 3,000 pictures of nude and semi-nude women were found on Kazaryan’s computer, authorities said.
FBI investigators estimate Kazaryan had more than 350 victims, but all of the women have not yet been identified. Authorities are asking people who believe they may have been a victim to contact FBI offices in Los Angeles.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said most of the victims were local.
Kazaryan faces up to 105 years in prison if he’s convicted on all counts. An after-hours call to his lawyer, Stephen Demik, was not immediately returned.