SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of the alleged owner and operator of a revenge porn website who facilitated the posting of more than 10,000 sexually explicit photos and extorted victims for as much as $350 each to remove the illicit content.
“This website published intimate photos of unsuspecting victims and turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives,” Attorney General Harris said. “Online predators that profit from the extortion of private photos will be investigated and prosecuted for this reprehensible and illegal internet activity.”
Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, of San Diego, was arrested today in San Diego by California Department of Justice agents and is being held in San Diego County jail on $50,000 bail. According to documents filed in San Diego County Superior Court, Bollaert has been charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion and is facing possible jail time and fines.
Court documents allege that, in December 2012, Bollaert created the website ugotposted.com, which allows the anonymous, public posting of private photographs containing nude and explicit images of individuals without their permission. Commonly knows as revenge porn, the photos are typically obtained consensually by the poster during a prior relationship or are stolen or hacked. Unlike many other revenge porn websites where the subject of the photos is anonymous, ugotposted.com required that the poster include the subject’s full name, location, age and facebook profile link.
California Penal Code sections 530.5 and 653m (b) make it illegal to willfully obtain someone’s personal identifying information, including name, age and address, for any unlawful purpose, including with the intent to annoy or harass.
Court documents also allege that Bollaert created a second website, changemyreputation.com, in October 2012, which he used when individuals contacted ugotposted.com requesting that content be removed from the site. Bollaert would allegedly extort victims by replying with a changemyreputation.com email address and offering to remove the content for a fee ranging from $299.99 to $350, which could be paid using an online PayPal account referenced in the emails. Ballaert allegedly told investigators, according to court documents, that he made around $900 per month from advertising on the site and records obtained from his changemyreputation.com PayPal account indicate that he received payments totaling tens of thousands of dollars.
According to court documents, ugotposted.com’s registration listed a billing address in San Diego, CA.
The arrest comes after a six-month investigation by the California Attorney General’s eCrime unit.
Attorney General Harris created the eCrime Unit in 2011 to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cybercrimes and other crimes involving the use of technology.
Individuals who feel they are victims of ugotposted.com or other revenge porn websites should file a complaint with the California Attorney General’s office here: https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company.
Please note that a complaint contains only allegations against a person and, as with all defendants, Kevin Christopher Bollaert, must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A copy of the complaint and arrest warrant are attached to the electronic version of this release here: https://oag.ca.gov/news.