Jared James Abrahams, a 19-year-old college freshman from Temecula, surrendered to the FBI Thursday in Orange for allegedly carrying out an online “sextortion” scheme that targeted victims worldwide, one of those victims being the recent Miss Teen USA.
His bail was set at $50,000 and is expected to be released Thursday and has agreed to stay at his grandparents' home in Claremont, where the computer will be locked up. Meanwhile, officials will be in his Temecula home installing monitoring devices in his laptop, where he will be confined under house arrest. He is due back in federal court on November 4th.
According to Abrahams' Federal Attorney, he is autistic and has received treatments before the alleged incidents, but not enough. Due to his family's and lawyer's pleas, the judge agreed to release Abrahams under the conditions mentioned.
The suspicions arose when Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, 19, contacted the FBI and realized she could not change her passwords on multiple online accounts. An online profile photo was replaced with a semi-nude picture of her that she could not change.
Wolf then received an email containing a nude photograph, threatening to convert her supermodel dreams into a porn star nightmare if she did not send more nude and explicit photos of herself. The naked pictures of Wolf were not public. Abrahams took them through a camera on her computer he had access to after hacking into it using the malware virus to gain control of the computers and webcams.
From that point, the Feds got involved, and the investigations began. It was revealed that Abrahams tried the same scheme on a 19-year-old woman in Maryland, a 17-year-old in Temecula, a 23-year-old woman who was the older sister of another victim, and a 17-year- old girl in Ireland more victims in Canada and Moldova.
The FBI suspects more victims and will continue investigations pending trial.
Abrahams had about 30 to 40 “slave computers” when the FBI questioned him and had as many as 100 to 150 in the past for hacking.
He has waived a preliminary hearing after his pre-arranged surrender. He will go straight to trial and face sextortion charges (a form of sexual exploitation implementing sexual favors from a victim through coercion and threat).