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Orange County man in 'sextortion' case to be formally indicted

July 19, 2010 |  8:32 am

A 31-year-old Orange County man is expected to be formally indicted Monday after federal authorities accused him of downloading explicit photographs of scores of women and girls and using those images to try to extort pornographic materials from them, officials said.

Luis Mijangos victimized at least 44 girls and 186 women in the so-called sextortion case, according to a 23-page criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Federal authorities, who said many of the victims were unidentified and many appeared to be minors, expect to find more victims. 

Mijangos was arrested and charged in June.

The complaint, filed after a two-year investigation by the FBI's cyber squad, alleges that Mijangos, a paraplegic wounded in a gang shooting, used software to hack into computers and extract data he would later use to threaten his victims. 

The software gave him access to all files, pictures and videos that were on an infected computer. It also allowed him to remotely access any Web camera and microphone attached to an infected computer to watch and listen to unknowing victims, according to the criminal complaint.

In one case, the complaint alleges Mijangos sent an e-mail to a victim in which he attached a nude picture of her and threatened to expose the images to her family if she did not send him a pornographic video of herself or if she told anyone.

"I will publish the images and let your family know about your dark side … so you better do that video, send it to me via e-mail and you will never hear from me ever," Mijangos said in the e-mail, according to the criminal complaint.

-- Andrew Blankstein