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2 Calif. Men Face Federal Charges in "Revenge Porn" Scheme

In an expletive-laced video shared on YouTube, Hunter Moore explains how his nightlife website "evolved" after a failed relationship

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Seven victims are named in an unsealed indictment against two California men accused of hacking into hundreds of email accounts to steal nude photos that were later posted on a "revenge porn site." One of those victims is Charlotte Laws' daughter, who was 25 years old and aspiring actress when her computer was hacked two years ago. Since then, Law has been on a mission to put revenge porn sites out of business. She began her own investigation into Moore and led the FBI to him. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2014. (Published Thursday, Jan 23, 2014)

    Two California men arrested Thursday are accused of hacking into hundreds of email accounts to steal nude photos that were later posted on a website that became a hub for "revenge porn." 

    Hunter Moore -- referred to in a 2012 "Rolling Stone" article as "the most hated man on the Internet" -- and a Southern California man identified as his accomplice are charged with conspiracy, seven counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and seven counts of aggravated identity theft, federal prosecutors said.

    Revenge Porn Suspects Appear in Federal Court

    [LA] Revenge Porn Suspects Appear in Federal Court
    Two men accused of posting hacked nude photos to a revenge porn website faced a federal judge on Thursday in Downtown LA. Their fate could set a standard for similar cases in the future. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. (Published Thursday, Jan 23, 2014)

    Moore, of Woodland, Calif., and 25-year-old Charles Evens, of Studio City, allegedly orchestrated a scheme involving the "revenge porn" website IsAnyOneUp.com, allegedly operated by Moore.

    At a court hearing Thursday, Evens' mother said her son was a good boy and volunteered in the community, but made bad choices.

    In a video published in July 2012 on YouTube, Moore is seen explaining "revenge porn" and the genesis of IsAnybodyUp.com in an expletive-filled interview. Moore's identity in the video was corroborated‎ by a law enforcement source.

    "It all started with me hating some dumb b---- who broke my heart," Moore said in the video as he explained IsAnyOneUp.com was originally intended to be a nightlife website. "It just evolved from there."

    He allegedly paid Evens to hack into hundreds of victims' accounts to obtain more content for the site, according to the indictment unsealed Thursday after the arrests by the FBI.

    Seven victims are named in the indictment. One of those victims is Charlotte Laws' daughter, who was 25 years old and aspiring actress when her computer was hacked two years ago.

    Since then, Law has been on a mission to put revenge porn sites out of business. She began her own investigation into Moore and led the FBI to him.

    "I'm so happy that, finally, something's happening," Law said about the court proceedings. "Revenge porn can be anything. It's really just about hurting and humiliating people and trying to ruin their lives."

    Laws' daughter was "devastated" when she learned about her photos being posted without her consent online, and although they have since been taken down, Law said her daughter will have to "literally monitor the Internet for the rest of her life" in case the images resurface.

    The indictment said that Evens contacted Moore in October 2011 about working for him. In December of that year, Evens sent Moore an email asking for $250 for nude photos of "6 guys and 6 girls," according to the indictment, which cites several more emails regarding financial transactions between the two men over the following year.

    "The moral of the story is that his revenge porn site wasn't a good enough business model, and that he had to engage in illegal activity to populate the site with pictures," Wes Hsu, assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California and head of the office’s Cyber and Intellectual Property Crime Section, told NBC News.

    Read: Student Accused of "Revenge Porn" Instagram

    If convicted, the men face up to five years in federal prison for each of the conspiracy and computer hacking counts. The charge of aggravated identity theft has a mandatory two-year sentence.

    Revenge porn usually involves images uploaded online by ex-partners after bitter breakups or hackers. A California law signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown makes it a misdemeanor to post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without permission with the intent to cause emotional distress or humiliation.

    NBC4's Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.