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Hacker Faces 105 Years In Prison After Blackmailing 350+ Women 473

Posted by Soulskill
from the see-you-after-the-singularity dept.
redletterdave writes "According to the 30-count indictment released by the Central District of California, 27-year-old hacker Karen 'Gary' Kazaryan allegedly hacked his way into hundreds of online accounts, using personal information and nude or semi-nude photos of his victims to coerce more than 350 female victims to show him their naked bodies, usually over Skype. By posing as a friend, Kazaryan allegedly tricked these women into stripping for him on camera, capturing more than 3,000 images of these women to blackmail them. Kazaryan was arrested by federal agents on Tuesday; if convicted on all 30 counts, including 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, Kazaryan could face up to 105 years in federal prison."
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Hacker Faces 105 Years In Prison After Blackmailing 350+ Women

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  • Plea bargain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Paul Johnson (33553) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:01PM (#42740457) Homepage
    But no doubt he'll take the plea bargain and spend a mere 1% of that in a low security prison, just like Aaron was supposed to.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Except that when you're going into a fed pen for a sex crime, "Karen" is a supremely unfortunate name to have if you're a guy.
    • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

      by canadiannomad (1745008) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:24PM (#42740779) Homepage

      This is true, and it means that justice will probably be served in his case. But the problem I see is using the extortion of long sentences to force a plea bargain to avoid time in court. That is in my opinion where there is something going wrong with the system, and that we should all be worried about it.
      In my opinion plea bargains are just begging to be abused by the system and creates a mockery of due process.

      • "begging to"? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gatfirls (1315141) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:30PM (#42740867)
        That ship sailed long ago. Coincidentally, our system of 'due process' is basically one massive blackmail racket. If things operated as intended it would be an invaluable tool for the courts and the defendants to provide a win/win. In our completely perverted system charges are trumped up to the maximum (even completely fabricated) levels to force a plea.
        • Fair enough, poor choice of words. I wasn't really implying that this is a new thing.

    • On top of "hacking" this guy comitted blackmail, and what could be considered sexual assault.

      I'm OK if this guy doesn't do time for hacking.

      I would really like to see this guy do hard time for sexual harrassment, blackmail, and the other related crimes that have little to do with the technical aspects of computer hacking.

      I'm also disgusted you'd even compare what this guy did to what aaron swartz did.

  • Evidence (Score:5, Funny)

    by rbgaynor (537968) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:06PM (#42740513) Homepage
    Now, now - let's not rush to justice until we've had a chance to see the evidence.
    • by MiniMike (234881)

      Just to the right of the text of the AP article (last link in summary), they have helpfully placed a link titled "Buy AP Photo Reprints". You may get your wish.

      If that doesn't work, you could Skype the victims, posing as the prosecutor, and ask them to repeat the poses 'for evidence'.

  • I have no problem with this type of scum getting some sort of jailtime. The question is, does the punishment fit the crime? I do not believe that this person will get anywhere near 105 years, especially if there are no priors. Before passing judgement, I think I will wait for a conviction. Is there a precedent for this type of crime with the same kind of scale to it?
    • I really doubt he'll get what is effectively life in prison for this. I have a hard time believing they'll give him more than 20 years and even that might be a stretch. Although 20 years seems relatively mild, consider losing 20 years of your life. He'll be 47 by the time he gets out and be missing the stretch where most people get a family, build up wealth and the do the bulk of saving for retirement. Even if he doesn't care about that, it's still a very long time to be in prison.

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        Although 20 years seems relatively mild

        Are you insane?! I'd prefer death to even a year or two in prison let alone 20 years. 20 years may as well be life as far as I'm concerned.

    • by icebike (68054)

      True he will never get the max.

      But would you have even bothered to read the story if the poster hadn't hype the ridiculous theoretical maximums?

      • by deesine (722173)

        But would you have even bothered to read the story if the poster hadn't hype the ridiculous theoretical maximums?

        Yes, "Blackmailing 350+ Women" was pretty much the hook for me.

  • Obvious moral (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:12PM (#42740581) Homepage

    Just like in the Anthony Wiener scandal, the clear bit of advice to come out of this: Never, ever, ever transmit pictures of yourself over a computer network with fewer clothes on than you'd wear in public.

    I'm sure some people find that kind of thing fun, but the simple fact is that the damage is greater than getting many STDs.

    • by shaitand (626655)
      "I'm sure some people find that kind of thing fun, but the simple fact is that the damage is greater than getting many STDs."

      Not really. The only possible damage is a little embarrassment. We shouldn't be sending someone to prison over violating someone's sense of modesty and embarrassing them. There is an offense there but an action that does no more harm than potentially stirring up an emotion shouldn't result in effectively permanently destroying the life of the person doing it (which prison time does re
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by alphatel (1450715) *

        "I'm sure some people find that kind of thing fun, but the simple fact is that the damage is greater than getting many STDs." Not really. The only possible damage is a little embarrassment. We shouldn't be sending someone to prison over violating someone's sense of modesty and embarrassing them. There is an offense there but an action that does no more harm than potentially stirring up an emotion shouldn't result in effectively permanently destroying the life of the person doing it (which prison time does regardless of duration).

        Nude photo: Embarrassing for victim. 20 years in a federal penitentiary for the felon.
        Breaking and Entering with Assault: Mental Anguish, Nightmares, Lost property or broken bones for victim. Probation for the perp.
        Nice system.

        • But but but but...the criminal used a COMPUTER! That makes it scary because I don't understand computers!!!

          Just imagine when criminals start using robots.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      the damage depends. if you're already a xxx model there's no damage.

      consider this, if you were considering between two women and the other had hiv and chlamydia and the other had stripped for a webcam and her naked gorgeous body was as result available online...

      105 years though? stacking ftw.

      • the damage depends. if you're already a xxx model there's no damage.

        'Common those photos have economic value! They are debasing the brand of the model! There must be some type of compensation available under tort law!
        </joking>

  • Although 105 years is excessive and the insane US legal system is clearly broken. I think 5 years is perfectly adequate. And of course paying the rest of his life for restitution to his victims.

  • Because there are two worlds colliding here in the mind of the average person.

    • The school of thought that the victim is always at least partly responsible for being conned. There's a sense of superiority a lot of people get when they hear about scams where, because they themselves would never fall prey to a scammer, anyone who does is deficient or incautious.

    • Anyone charged with a crime involving a computer for more then Solitaire, porn, and recipe hunting must be guilty.

  • 105 years jail for nudie pics.

    If he did this in New Zealand and raped the women as well he'd be out of jail in 5 years.

    • You're probably right, but I thought we were talking about the US judicial system being broken?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      105 years jail for nudie pics.

      If he did this in New Zealand and raped the women as well he'd be out of jail in 5 years.

      He'd still have had to spend 5 years in New Zealand though.

  • Guys pretending to be girls on the internet? Say it isn't so... Once upon a time I got involved in some rooms on yahoo (back when they existed and had a sense of community) and made friends with a girl who was a regular there - I'd show for her on cam occasionally - "she" didn't have a cam, but talked on mic (I didn't realize you could use a pitch shifter on it). This went on for a while then "she" started getting bossy about it and I refused to do it anymore. Next thing I know, "she" announces to the room
  • I HATE this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SoTerrified (660807) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @02:31PM (#42740875)
    He's scum. He preyed on innocents without remorse and deserves punishment. And yet you're going to give him more jail time than he'd get for MURDER?

    I hate that I have to stand beside him and say this is wrong. I hate that I have to support someone so despicable. I hate that the flawed system actually makes me support people like Gary Kazaryan.

    And yet it's something I must do.
    • It wasn't one instance of it though - it was more than 350 women. If you steal one orange, you'll get a slap on the wrist, you steal a truckload and that's a totally different thing as far as penalty.
      • by Jahava (946858)

        It wasn't one instance of it though - it was more than 350 women. If you steal one orange, you'll get a slap on the wrist, you steal a truckload and that's a totally different thing as far as penalty.

        I would personally disagree that blackmailing even 350 people is worse than murder. Regardless, I think OP's point still stands. Things like murder are in a completely different category of crime.

        • "I would personally disagree that blackmailing even 350 people is worse than murder"

          Ooo a thought experiment. How many people makes it worse than murder for you. 1000? 10,000? And murder "whom"? anyone?

          Are 10,000 peoples lives being abused worse than killing the abuser?

          I think that scammers and career thieves should be shot, personally. Fucking with hundreds or thousands of people could justify the death penalty in my opinion (if ones country has death penalty laws that is. It could always be argued that it

    • Seriously, what do you propose as a penalty, or do you propose no penalty?

      At some point, when dealing with a group of people on legal issues, you have to have some comprimise. There are amongst us, people who think selling coffee that is "too hot" is criminally negligent. There are others that assume that hot coffee is hot and the buyer is responsible for taking appropriate care after the sale. The law is going to have to establish a common understanding, so that everyone knows what the rules are, even i

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        Here's a hint. Start at mass murder or genocide. Work your way down to murder. Then manslaughter. Then rape. But here's the thing. Work your way down from the mass murderer. Not up.

    • He's scum. He preyed on innocents without remorse and deserves punishment. And yet you're going to give him more jail time than he'd get for MURDER?

      How much jail time would he get if he murdered 350 people? How much if he'd coerced just one person? Personally, considering the scale of his crime and the damage he's done to so many lives... I have no problem with locking him away for the rest of his life. even with intensive treatment, it's not clear he can ever be trusted to be loose in society again.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      So you propose no jail time at all for any crime except murder?

      Since no matter how small a jail time you assign to any other crime someone can commit enough instances of it to have the sum of the jail time be greater than your murder jail time (let's ignore "life" as a jail time for the moment).

      Or do you want caps on totals? So that after I've commited some crime X times I can commit it as many more times as I like with no additional penalty?

    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      Hate Soulskill. He's the one who wrote the misleading, troll headline.

      "Statutory maximum of 105 years" only means he can't be sentenced to longer than that. That "maximum" word is key. I don't believe murder has a statutory maximum sentence.

      Really, TFA gives no idea of what the actual sentence is likely to be. The only way I see getting to 105 years from "15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft" would be if he's convicted on all charges and receives consecutive sentences [yahoo.com].

      I

  • All he had to do is pretend to be one of their female friends? Forget the con part. He was able to find 350 women who didn't think it was all that peculiar that one of their friends wanted them to video Skype naked. Who knew?

  • I really hope they find some way to stick this guy with a lengthy sentence and find some nice PMITA prison for him - so he can be the victim ... hopefully repeatedly.
  • ...or it didn't happen.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:03PM (#42741399) Homepage Journal

    So, let me get this straight...
    This shmoe could face up to 105 years because of "XX" number of counts of the exact same crime.

    By that way of thinking, each perpetrator of the LIBOR fixing scandal committed acts which affected millions or perhaps billions of people. Shouldn't THEIR sentence be something then on the order of millions of years of prison?

    And yet, NOT ONE person is going to go to jail for LIBOR. Aaron committed suicide over his potential 50 years, for downloading some crap, but LIBOR guys are going to have their banks pay a small fine, they are still going to get their bonuses, corner offices, mansions, Ferraris, Yachts and hot babes in bikinis.

    Dude, if your going to commit a crime, think big -- as in "too big to fail", "too big to prosecute" -- Frankly, if Lance Armstrong had just been Lance Armstrong Bank, he'd still have all his medals, and everyone would still be doing business with him, because they'd have no choice.

    • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:23PM (#42741713)

      I completely agree. Yet another story that highlights how prosecutors are given entirely too much power and there's no way to hold them accountable. The most messed up part is that we're sending non-violent criminals to prison. Everyone cheered when Madoff was sent to prison, I didn't hear a single person mention the eighth amendment. No one mentioned that, as a prison inmate, he would just be a further burden to society.

      Unless a person is a threat to society, I can't see the justification for putting them in prison. That's what jails should be for, they shouldn't be a camp of retribution, of societal vengeance. If a person is drunk and disorderly in public, or drinking and driving, they get thrown in the drunk tank until the next day. That makes sense, that's reasonable. They're a threat to society until they sober up. If a person kills someone and it's not in self defense, then they've proven themselves to be irrational and dangerous. They need to be kept away from the greater society.

      If this guy is guilty, should be be punished? No doubt. Should he serve a single day in jail/prison? Absolutely not. That doesn't benefit anyone except the corporations that run our prison system. Community service should be the standard punishment for most crimes because it's a form of restitution to society. But no, the standard form of punishment is a fine or time. A fine that goes to paying for the out of control penal system that the U.S. employs on both a state and federal level.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:04PM (#42742231) Homepage

      The HSBC money laundering case is another good one: That bank was caught laundering billions for drug lords, and there will be no jail time for anybody involved.

  • Wait, he posed as a friend and convinced 350 women to send nude pictures?

    That... that just doesn't seem possible.

    My cheese filter is going off.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @08:21PM (#42745505)

    This guy should run if he gets the chance. He is seriously fucked. If he was smart enough to pull this off, why was he not smart enough to do it anonymously from public or unprotected wifi or even an internet cafe? Well, unless he did and the FBI have the wrong guy.

    The FBI has a huge hardon for any kind of ToS violation crime or really any sort of GeekCrime, and I bet the FBI agent assigned to this case was a pissed off female with an axe to grind. How dare he trick girls into giving him naked photos!

    He'll almost certainly be found guilty of the computer intrusion and is likely to be found guilty of the extortion as well, depending on how specific the wording of the federal law is about the monetary nature of any gains. He at least didn't ask for money.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

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