An Israeli has been arrested in Florida as part of local law enforcement's investigation into a website that uploads mugshots to the internet and charges people money to have them removed.
Sahar Sarid is allegedly one of the four owners of Mugshot.com, together with Thomas Keese, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie and David Usdan. The four were arrested last week as part of the criminal investigation led by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force, the Guardian reported.
According to the report, the four are accused of extortion, money laundering and identity theft after receiving more than $2 million for removing mugshots from over 5,000 people over three years.
“This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else’s humiliation,” a press release by California's attorney general said. “Those who can’t afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing or try to build relationships with others. This is exploitation, plain and simple," Xavier Becerra, the attorney general, said.
Mugshots.com is one of a number of websites that offer the dubious service of publishing already public records online only to charge a fee for their removal.
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According to reports, Mugshot.com charges $399 for the service, procured theirs a second website called Unpublisharrest.com. The majority of those who used the service were registered in California. Now the offenders' mugshots have been posted online by the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office for the world to see.