The alleged owners of Mugshots.com—Sahar Sarid and Thomas Keesee—are now among the mugshots of the week. The company has long been criticized as little more than a shakedown of people desperate to remove embarrassing mugshots on the Internet. California prosecutors alleged Sarid, Keese, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie and David Usdan engaged in with extortion, money laundering, and identity theft through the site.
The 29-page affidavit details an alleged fraudulent scheme praying on people embarrassed by prior arrests.
The company was accused of running a “pay-for-removal scheme . . . to profit off of someone else’s humiliation.” The charges state that the company “extracted more than $64,000 in removal fees from approximately 175 individuals . . . [and] defendants took more than $2 million in removal fees from approximately 5,703 individuals for the same period.”
Bhavnanie has been reportedly been hit with a massive $1.86 million bail.
The 29-page affidavit provides a lengthy explanation of what prosecutors call a “business permeated with fraud.” Individuals claim that musgshot.com would post booking photos and then its sister site, unpublisharrest.com, would charge hundreds of dollars to remove it.