Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Calif man accused of extortion through hacking

A hacker took over more than 100 computers and used them to extort sexually explicit videos from women and teenage girls by threatening to release their personal data, federal prosecutors charged Tuesday.

Luis Mijangos, 31, of Santa Ana, was arrested at his home by FBI agents on a charge of extortion that carries a maximum federal prison sentence of two years, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office.

Mijangos made his first court appearance in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning where he was released on a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond on condition of home detention with no computers, his attorney Sylvia Torres-Guillen said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement put a detainer on Mijangos and will take him into custody because he is an illegal alien, U.S. attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

A telephone listing for Mijangos could not be immediately located.

The scheme was sophisticated, Mrozek said.

Mijangos told FBI agents he was a consultant and studied Java and C++, two computer programming languages.

"He did have technical proficiency," Mrozek said.

Mrozek said that federal extortion cases are relatively rare but this case is unique because it "doesn't involve demands for money but for demands of sexually explicit videos."

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