"Sextortion": Calif. man accused of hacking into hundreds of women's computers, coercing naked pictures

Karen "Gary" Kazaryan
CBS Los Angeles

(CBS) LOS ANGELES - Federal prosecutors say Karen "Gary" Kazaryan, a 27-year-old Glendale man, hacked into hundreds of social media and email accounts to coerce women online to get naked, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Kazaryan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.

Kazaryan allegedly hacked into young, unsuspecting women's computers, changed their passwords and took control of their online accounts.

"Once he was inside their accounts, he would search for naked pictures... password information... friend information. Once he had that information, he would pose as these individuals and contact their friends on Facebook, Instant Messenger and Skype and pretend to be them," Wilkison said.

According to a federal indictment obtained by CBS Los Angeles, Kazaryan would then try to persuade the women's friends to expose themselves to him via Skype.

"If he could convince them to remove their clothing, he would then extort them. He would find their naked pictures, use naked pictures obtained on Skype, and tell them he would post those naked pictures on Skype... on Facebook," Wilkison said.

Kazaryan supposedly targeted more than 350 women, the station reports.

A search of the suspect's laptop yielded more than 3,000 nude images. Some of the photos were of girls as young as 16, the station says.

The suspect was previously arrested for rape and drug possession, but the cases never made it to trial, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Kazaryan, who remains jailed on a $75,000 bond, could be sent to federal prison for 105 years if he's convicted of the new charges, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Authorities are still working to identify all of the girls in the photos. Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Kazaryan is urged to call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.