A Glendale man described by prosecutors as a “sexual cyber terrorist” was sentenced Monday to 60 months in federal prison for hacking into hundreds of online accounts and using extortion to coerce as many as 350 women into showing their naked bodies, prosecutors said.
Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, pleaded guilty in July to felony counts of computer hacking and aggravated identity theft.
Kazaryan was accused of hacking into hundreds of victims’ email, Facebook, and Skype accounts using their usernames and passwords or password reset questions, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office. He then methodically searched their accounts for naked pictures, passwords, and the contact information of their friends, the release stated.
According to court documents, Kazaryan gained unauthorized access to online accounts where he obtained naked pictures and then extorted the victims to provide additional photos and videos. If they refused, he posted the original pictures on the Internet. In other cases, Kazaryan posed as young women and asked their friends to provide naked photos, prosecutors said.
“He had two goals every time that he accessed these accounts: get more naked pictures in any way he could, and get more victims,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing papers.
“His victims were devastated and felt like they had been raped,” according to the sentencing memorandum. “They continue to be thoroughly traumatized by his criminal conduct.”