Date: May 18, 2018
“Mugshots.com is a “business permeated with fraud,” California AG says.
Two alleged owners of Mugshots.com—Sahar Sarid and Thomas Keesee—have been arrested in south Florida on a recently issued California warrant. The notorious website publishes mugshots and then demands payment for their removal.
On Wednesday, the attorney general of California brought criminal charges against not only Saried and Keesee, but also Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie and David Usdan. The quartet has been charged with extortion, money laundering, and identity theft.
“This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else’s humiliation,” said Attorney General Becerra in a statement. “Those who can’t afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing, or try to build relationships with others. This is exploitation, plain and simple.”
In the same statement, Becerra’s office said that these defendants “extracted more than $64,000 in removal fees from approximately 175 individuals with billing addresses in California. Nationally, the defendants took more than $2 million in removal fees from approximately 5,703 individuals for the same period.”
It’s about time, this sort of bold faced criminal theft faced prosecution.
These sorts of extortion operations exist in multiple forms…You don’t even have to do anything remotely illegal or controversial…They just have their methods of grabbing people’s public information [name, home address, contact information, etc.], and publishing it on their own website without permission…demanding a fee to remove it…a “clerical fee”, for the five seconds it takes to delete their ill gotten entry.
…And they exploit situations where nobody would think this sort of thing would happen…and they know, nobody they target is going to be okay with it.
…..TAP-Net Website | Sub-Blog Archive