Attorney General Becerra Holds Press Conference about Cyber Exploitation Case

Attorney General Becerra Holds Press Conference about Cyber Exploitation Case


good morning and thank you for being
here Xavier Becerra Attorney General for the great state of California I’m joined
by deputy I actually senior attorney Assistant Attorney General Robert Morris
sir who is principally responsible for the work that we’re about to announce
along with his colleague Deputy Attorney General Ralph Sevilla who did the work
for what we’re about to announce today and I want to thank them and
congratulate them for the work that they’ve done we’re here to announce
criminal charges against the owners and operators of muggshot calm a cyber
exploitation website the website republishes booking photos and personal
information from police and sheriff’s departments websites without the
knowledge or the consent of the subjects who have this information published once
an individual requests that their photo and other information be removed from
the website they are referred to a secondary website and that website then
goes on to charge the subject for removal of that information hundreds of
dollars in order to get that photo in personal information removed not a small
sum of money the defendants named in our complaint
are Sahar sir Reid key sure Bob Nani Thomas Kesey and David used on three of
the four individuals are being charged with 51 counts of conspiracy extortion
attempted extortion identity theft and money laundering the fourth mr. Wasden
is charged with seven counts conspiracy extortion and identity theft in the
affidavit on file with the court you can read about the people who have found
themselves on mugshot mug shots dot-coms website with their booking photos take
Doug Ark as an example well he happened to be at a Walmart in Florida and was
wrongly accused of shoplifting charges were never filed again
Timm Walmart in fact later sent him a letter of apology that didn’t seem to
matter to mugshots calm Doug found his booking photo on mug shots calm within
72 hours of his arrest fearing an impact on his job prospects Doug contacted mug
shots dot-com went through the process and then ended up paying 399 dollars to
have his photo taken down or take the case of another subject who served time
for a drug charge she said that her booking photo on mug shots calm has not
only cost her a job but has hurt her daughter she told us that a classmate’s
mother had seen the photo of this subject on mug shots comm and canceled a
play date that this mother’s daughter had with the subjects daughter the
mother had told this subject that quote her daughter was not going to play with
the daughter of a drug dealer there are other examples that we include in the
complaint in the affidavit that’s been filed but let’s be clear what mug shots
com does is simple and sheer exploitation no other way to put it
plain and simple cyber exploitation the behavior alleged
here was an attempt to profit off of humiliation it’s taking advantage of
people who are trying to put their best foot forward and build a life for
themselves and their families I have to always remind people that of course we
should remember that the charges that we’re filing are at this stage only
allegations the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt but the charges we bring today are truly the
result of what happens when someone takes advantage of personal information
and seeks to exploit that for financial gain and clearly today we want to thank
people like Robert and Ralph and the team of investigators who made it
possible for us to combat this cyber exploitation this investigation into mug
shots comm was led by the multi-jurisdictional
Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force we assisted here at the Department
of Justice in that investigation we were also aided by state and local law
enforcement agencies from around the country in serving the arrest warrants
against the four subjects who are defendants in this action and finally to
everyone who is out there who may have been a victim of mug shots comm let me
encourage you to file a police police report with your local police department
if you’re booking photo was taken in California or if you were in California
when you contacted mug shots calm then please contact our office our eat Crimes
Unit at e-crime unit at DOJ CA govt before I take any questions I simply
want to remind everyone who may watch or hear about this that you have rights
what mug shots comm was against the law and we need your help to make sure that
this type of cyber exploitation is stopped but we need you to come forward
and so help us bring down those who would take advantage of you and try to
profit off of your personal situation but that will take any questions

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