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AG announces arrest of revenge porn Website operator

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From page A7 | December 13, 2013 | 2 Comments

SAN FRANCISCO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Dec. 10 announced the arrest of the alleged owner and operator of a revenge porn Website who facilitated the posting of more than 10,000 sexually explicit photos and extorted victims for as much as $350 each to remove the illicit content.

“This Website published intimate photos of unsuspecting victims and turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives,” Harris said. “Online predators that profit from the extortion of private photos will be investigated and prosecuted for this reprehensible and illegal Internet activity.”

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, of San Diego, was arrested Dec. 10 in San Diego by California Department of Justice agents and is being held in San Diego County jail on $50,000 bail. According to documents filed in San Diego County Superior Court, Bollaert has been charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion and is facing possible jail time and fines.

Court documents allege that, in December 2012, Bollaert created the Website ugotposted.com, which allows the anonymous, public posting of private photographs containing nude and explicit images of individuals without their permission. Commonly known as revenge porn, the photos are typically obtained consensually by the poster during a prior relationship or are stolen or hacked. Unlike many other revenge porn Websites where the subject of the photos is anonymous, ugotposted.com required that the poster include the subject’s full name, location, age and Facebook profile link.

California Penal Code sections 530.5 and 653m (b) make it illegal to willfully obtain someone’s personal identifying information, including name, age and address, for any unlawful purpose, including with the intent to annoy or harass.

Court documents also allege that Bollaert created a second Website, changemyreputation.com, in October 2012, which he used when individuals contacted ugotposted.com requesting that content be removed from the site. Bollaert would allegedly extort victims by replying with a changemyreputation.com e-mail address and offering to remove the content for a fee ranging from $299.99 to $350, which could be paid using an online PayPal account referenced in the e-mails. Ballaert allegedly told investigators, according to court documents, that he made around $900 per month from advertising on the site and records obtained from his changemyreputation.com PayPal account indicate that he received payments totaling tens of thousands of dollars.

According to court documents, ugotposted.com’s registration listed a billing address in San Diego.

The arrest comes after a six-month investigation by the California Attorney General’s eCrime unit.

Attorney General Harris created the eCrime Unit in 2011 to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cybercrimes and other crimes involving the use of technology.

Individuals who feel they are victims of ugotposted.com or other revenge porn Websites should file a complaint with the California Attorney General’s office at oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company. You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of the Website at oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-announces-arrest-revenge-porn-website-operator.

You may view all News & Alerts on the Website at oag.ca.gov/news.

Kamala D. Harris

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

  • Placerville NativeDecember 13, 2013 - 9:52 am

    Anyone else think it's weird that Kamala D. Harris authored an article about Kamala D. Harris written in the third person?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • illiterary criticDecember 13, 2013 - 10:10 pm

    Good eye PN. Maybe it's her pen name.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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