Archive for Hunter Moore

Hunter Moore Takes Plea Deal, Will Go To Prison

Hunter Moore, the infamous involuntary porn kingpin who was facing trial in March, has agreed to plead guilty two felony charges: one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(c)) and one count of aggravated identity theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1).)

The violation of the CFAA — commonly referred to as ‘hacking’ — carries a minimum two year sentence, and Moore faces up to seven years in prison.  It’s incredibly unlikely that Moore will receive the full seven years.  More also faces fines which may reach as high as $500,000.

Moore’s charges stem from allegations, which he has admitted, that he solicited and paid co-defendant Charlie Evens to access e-mail accounts and search for nude photos, which Moore would then post on his website, IsAnyoneUp.

Evens still faces trial in March.  There is no plea agreement with Evens that has been made public, if one exists, and Moore’s agreement does not include any indication that he has agreed to testify against Evens.

Moore’s plea deal comes less than a month after YouGotPosted proprietor Kevin Bollaert was convicted on numerous extortion and identity theft charges and IsAnybodyDown operator Craig Brittain submitted to sanctions by the Federal Trade Commission for his conduct in deceiving people into sending him nude photos and subsequently charging for their removal.  A third operator, Casey Meyering, will shortly be tried on extortion charges for deploying a scheme identical to Brittain’s.  In one month, approximately half of the operators of dedicated revenge porn sites have been sanctioned, convicted, or are likely to be convicted.  Stunning.

Hunter Moore plea deal

Hunter Moore Pleads Not Guilty; Meet His Co-Defendant, Charlie “Gary” Evens

Hunter Moore, the so-called “revenge porn” progenitor, made his second court appearance on charges that he hired co-defendant Charles “Gary” Evens to access email accounts of five women in order to find and post their nude photos on his now-defunct website, IsAnyoneUp?

Hunter Moore's attorney, Robert Holley

Moore’s attorney, Robert Holley

With his parents in tow, Moore was arraigned on and sheepishly plead not-guilty to fifteen counts of violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030 (unauthorized access to a protected computer, popularly referred to as ‘hacking’), 18 U.S.C. § 1028A (aggravated identity theft), 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy), and 18 U.S.C. § 2 (aiding and abetting).  His co-defendant, Charles Robert Evens, entered a not-guilty plea in January and was released on $60,000 bond.

In attendance at Moore’s arraignment was Dr. Charlotte Laws, widely credited with amassing the evidence and public pressure on law enforcement to act.

At his initial appearance in January, Moore was ordered to assist Federal agents in shutting down his online accounts and websites.  Moore is prohibited from having access to the internet, a computer, or a cell phone.  Moore was released from custody in January after posting a $100,000 unsecured appearance bond — that is, he and his parents have agreed to pay the government $100,000 if Moore skips town.

After the hearing, I waited outside for Moore, along with a camera crew from Inside Edition.  When Moore spotted us, he sprinted away, holding his backwards hat down, while his lawyer laughed.

Who is Charlie “Gary” Evens?

Charlie

Moore’s co-defendant, Charlie “Gary” Evens

Little is known about Moore’s co-defendant, Charlie Evens.  What is known paints a picture that contrasts greatly with Moore.  Where Moore welcomed his status as an internet villain, Evens is a more sympathetic defendant — although that’s not difficult.

A resident of the Los Angeles area and 2006 graduate of Notre Dame High School, he was a “skipper” on Disneyland’s jungle cruise ride before working for Deluxe Entertainment Studios as a Digital Asset Manager.  On the side, Evens produced and hosted a short-lived live comedy show (the creatively-named “Charlies’ Comedy Show“) featuring moderately well-known comedians.

Evens was convicted of driving under the influence in 2012 and remains on probation.

In May 2012, the Village Voice described in detail allegations that a “Gary Jones” was using social engineering tactics to access email accounts, and that Hunter Moore would post nude photos from those accounts.  “Gary,” in a moment of empathy and self-pity, apologized to one victim and told her that he had just been arrested for his “3rd DUI” and was struggling with sobriety.  The email address disclosed in the Village Voice article appears to match that in the indictment against Moore and Evens.

Moore, responding to allegations that the sources of his nude catalog were more than just spurned ex-lovers, told the Village Voice:

“I’ve had tons of hackers give me shit,” he told me over the phone, insisting that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the same federal law that has shielded his site from prosecution all along, absolves him of legal responsibility. […] “It always comes back on the hacker. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve paid people for content. I don’t give a fuck. You can say that. If I’ve paid for content, they have to submit the same [way] as the user. It would all fall back on the user.”

The law Moore cited in his armchair lawyering, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, generally protects websites and their owners from liability for content submitted by users.  However, Section 230 is expressly inapplicable to Federal criminal law, and is not a license-by-virtue-of-website to commit any criminal act under the sun.

The trial of Evens is scheduled to begin on March 25 before the Hon. Dolly M. Gee. There was some confusion over the date of Moore’s trial, but was tentatively set for April 8.  I plan to attend and report from the trial.  Moore has retained Robert M. Holley and Evens is represented by a Federal public defender. The public documents in the case are available here and here.

Revenge Porn Kingpin Hunter Moore Indicted on Federal Hacking Charges

According to this report from TIME Magazine’s Jessica K. Roy (who previously worked the revenge porn beat for Betabeat), revenge porn kingpin Hunter Moore has been indicted in connection with Federal hacking charges. The indictment reportedly includes 15 counts and also charges an alleged associate of Moore (Charles Evans), is reportedly in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles.  (I live a few blocks from the courthouse, so I’ll be attending any hearings in the matter.)

Moore has long been the subject of an FBI investigation concerning his hacking.  In previous tweets to me, Moore claimed to have been raided “6 times” in a since-deleted tweet.

The Los Angeles courthouse may be unfamiliar to Moore, but he’s previously been held in contempt by a judge there in a civil case, and owes over $300,000 in default judgments relating to his online activity.

Moore was due to DJ this weekend at Dim Mak Studios, a Los Angeles club.  Previous appearances at clubs around the country were cancelled due to protests.

Moore’s indictment is not yet on PACER, the public access website for federal court filings.

Update: The indictment (below) alleges that Moore told Evens, who he knew to be accessing e-mail accounts  (without authorization of the owner) to acquire nude photos, to “hack more” and “hack all week for me.”  Moore then paid Evens via PayPal and wire transfers, ostensibly for the photos.

Revenge Porn – Moore-Evens Indictment

Revenge Porn’s Hunter Moore Ordered to Pay $30,103.39 to Storage Wars Star Brandi Passante

In June, reality television star Brandi Passante won a default judgment against Hunter Moore for, among other things, trademark infringement and defamation.  Moore, who bears a heavy crown as most hated person on the internet for attempting to legitimize revenge porn, had responded to the lawsuit only by — you don’t want to click this link at work or anywhere else — sending Passante’s lawyer a picture of his dick.  And, of course, quietly removing what he had claimed was a nude video of Passante (it wasn’t) after the judge suggested that the U.S. Marshals intervene.

After Moore ignored the lawsuit and lost by default — a curious legal strategy for a self-proclaimed millionaire — the judge awarded Passante $750, a sum Gawker labeled “paltry,” on the basis that Passante hadn’t demonstrated her actual damages.   The court also awarded Passante attorneys’ fees and suggested that she submit a declaration substantiating her actual damages.

While it remains to be seen whether Passante will describe how much the court should really give her, she did seek an order that Moore reimburse her for the attorneys’ fees.

The court obliged, awarding Passante $30,103.39 — the order after the jump.  Based on some rough calculations, that means Moore has now been ordered by various courts to pay $294,022.89, the lion’s share of resulting from James McGibney’s defamation lawsuit against Moore.

It’s unlikely that Moore has many assets, given that he can’t seem to find a lawyer to respond to any of these lawsuits.  Nevertheless, happy hunting, judgment creditors.

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Revenge Porn’s Hunter Moore Liable for Trademark Infringement, Fraud, Defamation in Brandi Passante Case

Hunter Moore, widely recognized as the progenitor of ‘revenge porn’, has been held liable by a Federal Court for trademark infringement, fraud, defamation, and other claims in Passante v. Moore.  Brandi Passante, star of “Storage Wars”, sued Moore after he posted a video purporting (falsely, as the court ruled) to show her performing sex acts. Moore failed to respond to the case, except to send Passante’s attorney a picture of his penis (NSFL) — and then quietly removed the offending content from his site.

Dick pics are not among the responsive pleadings permitted by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12.

In the court’s ruling (PDF), the judge issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Moore from re-posting the content and awarded Passante $750 in damages, plus attorney fees.  The court reasoned that only minimal statutory damages were available, absent a showing by Passante of her actual damages.  That doesn’t mean that Moore will only have to muster up $750 and be done with the matter: the court invited Passante to submit a new declaration establishing her actual damages.  Given that Passante was asking for $1.25 million in damages, Moore may still be on the hook for much more.

This is Moore’s second legal defeat.  The self-proclaimed ‘millionaire’ also failed to respond to a lawsuit by Bullyville’s James McGibney, to whom Moore now owes $250,000 for defamation.

But at least he has his cat.

Hunter Moore’s ‘Fortunes’ Threatened by Self-Imposed Legal Misfortunes

Revenge kingpin Hunter Moore, a self-proclaimed “millionaire,” has been hit by two default judgments after failing to defend himself in two lawsuits against him.

The first involves Storage Wars celebrity Brandi Passante, who sued Moore for posting a video that Moore asserted was a sex tape of Passante.  Her complaint (PDF), filed in the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, asserted causes of action for trademark infringement, privacy torts, defamation, and consumer fraud, alleging that Moore’s video was false and designed to trade upon her commercial likeness.  Passante also sought and received a preliminary injunction requiring Moore to remove the video.

Moore’s response to the suit and injunction was to send Passante’s lawyer a picture of his penis (NSFW, obviously) in lieu of hiring a lawyer to defend his considerable ‘ass’ets.  This well-considered legal strategy went predictably: Passante convinced the judge to hold Moore in contempt for disobeying the injunction.  Moore, faced with the prospect of being haled into California accompanied by U.S. Marshals armed with a bench warrant, quietly removed the video from his website.

Moore has since remained quiet publicly about the suit.  While a clerk’s entry of default has been entered against him in the case, Passante’s lawyer has informed the court that settlement negotiations are ongoing.  Negotiating with a plaintiff while you’re in default is an ideal bargaining position.  Bravo, Mr. Moore.

The second case is more interesting.

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