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IsAnyoneUp? Not Anymore: Feds Bust ‘Revenge Porn King’ Hunter Moore

| January 24, 2014
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(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Federal agents have arrested notorious “revenge porn” purveyor Hunter Moore and an alleged accomplice on charges they hacked into hundreds of email accounts, stole nude images they found there, and then posted them on Moore’s now-defunct isanyoneup.com site.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles announced Thursday that FBI agents arrested Moore, 27, at his home in Woodland, just northwest of Sacramento. In Southern California, agents also arrested Moore’s alleged accomplice, Charles Evens, 25, of Studio City.

Charges against ‘most hated man on the Internet’ could bring years in federal prison.

Federal prosecutors made public a previously sealed grand jury indictment (embedded at the end of this post) that accuses Moore and Evens of hatching a plan to hack into email accounts, download nude images they found, then post them to isanyoneup.com. Both face 15 counts, including conspiracy, seven counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. The conspiracy and computer hacking counts each carry a maximum of five years in prison; the aggravated identity theft counts carry a mandatory two-year sentence to run consecutive to any other sentence imposed in the case.

The Los Angeles Times reports: Evens pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday and was released on bond. According to a spokesman for the Department of Justice, federal officials are seeking Moore’s “detention” and he’s due back in court in Sacramento to determine if he’ll be released on bond or held.

Past Legal Trouble

The isanyoneup.com site also posted hundreds of thousands of pictures submitted by men and women angry with ex-spouses and partners, along with personal details, including addresses, of those pictured. The site earned Moore monikers like “revenge porn king” and “the most hated man on the Internet,” and it reportedly made him as much as $30,000 a month. It also landed him in earlier legal trouble: last year, he was ordered to pay $250,000 in a defamation case brought by one of his critics.

Nevertheless, Moore was depicted as unrepentant and convinced that he was headed to a bright future as a new media entrepreneur. Here’s the opening to a Rolling Stone profile published last October — the same month the federal grand jury was hearing evidence against him:

Let it be known that Hunter Moore sleeps well. He sleeps deeply, profoundly, and when he sleeps, he dreams wondrous and beautiful dreams in which, for instance, he finds himself in possession of a large fortune. (“I’ll find a treasure chest, and I’ll wake up like, ‘Oh my God, I have all this treasure!’ “) In fact, such a dream he may be dreaming now as he is carried down Interstate 90 in the back seat of a powder-blue Toyota Matrix, window down, wind in his hair, sun glaring, music blaring, head lilting forward in innocent slumber, with his occasional touring partner, DJ Android Rights, at the wheel hurtling him toward Poughkeepsie, New York, and, less specifically but more cosmically, toward his future destiny, which Moore sees as wide open and bright and full of fortune.

The isanyoneup.com arrests Thursday mark the second major criminal prosecution of a revenge-porn operation in California. Last month, police arrested Kevin Bollaert of San Diego, proprietor of a site called YouGotPosted (ugotposted.com). Bollaert faces 31 state counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion.

More on the case from the Associated Press, followed by the federal indictment against Moore and Evens:

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A notorious “revenge porn” website operator and another California man have been charged with stealing nude photos from hundreds of hacked email accounts and posting the images online.

Hunter Moore, 27, who has been dubbed by some media outlets as “the most hated man on the Internet,” was arrested Thursday at his home in Woodland. FBI agents also arrested Charles Evens, 25, of the Studio City area of Los Angeles.

Evens pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court while Moore appeared in court in Sacramento but didn’t enter a plea, U.S. attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Both remained jailed.

A 15-count federal indictment issued this week in Los Angeles charges the men with conspiracy, computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting. They could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted.

From 2010 to 2012, Moore ran a website called isanyoneup.com that posted nude and explicit photos, including some submitted to the site by former lovers and spouses without the permission of the people in them. Alongside the photos, Moore included the name and other details of the people depicted.

The photos included an “American Idol” finalist, the daughter of a major Republican donor, and a woman in a wheelchair, according to a 2012 article on Moore in Rolling Stone magazine.

According to the indictment, Evens was paid for providing Moore with nude photos that he obtained by hacking or using other means to accessing hundreds of email accounts.

In an email to Moore, Evens said what he was doing was illegal, and in other emails, Moore offered to pay Evens $200 a week and asked him to use an anonymous PayPal account to avoid detection of the scheme, according to the indictment. Evens was paid as much as $900 at one time, prosecutors contend.

Moore told BBC that he made as much as $20,000 a month in advertising revenue. He ignored cease-and-desist orders and scoffed at challenges to the ethics of his site, although in 2012 he finally sold the website to an anti-cyberbullying organization, saying his notoriety had resulted in people sending him a flood of child pornography and other images.

But he defended the site as well, even though he acknowledged in the 2012 BBC interview that posting the photos could “definitely affect someone’s livelihood.”

“I just monetize people’s mistakes that they made, and it’s kind of a shady business. But if it wasn’t me, somebody else was going to do it,” he said.

In a 2012 interview on CNN’s “Dr. Drew” show, a woman who called in to the show chastised Moore for refusing requests to remove naked selfies of her daughter and alleged they came from a hacked account.

“I’m sure she sent the pictures to a million different guys and just ended up on my site just like everybody else,” Moore said, although he added that he didn’t want to hurt her daughter.

“I’m sorry that your daughter was cyber-raped. But, I mean, now she’s educated on technology,” he added.

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Category: Law and Justice, News

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About the Author ()

Dan Brekke has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at dbrekke@kqed.org.

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