A man who claims to be a former intern for the Romney presidential campaign has been arrested and charged with cyber stalking and internet extortion after he allegedly obtained nude pictures of 15 women illegally and threatened to make them public.
Adam Savader, 21, of Great Neck, N.Y., was arrested by U.S. Marshals Tuesday and booked into the Nassau County jail, according to a jail spokeswoman. He is being held without bail.
If convicted, Savader may face up to five years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Michigan, which is prosecuting the case.
According to the criminal complaint, Savader anonymously contacted 15 women via text message through a string of Google voice phone numbers. In his messages, he told the women – many of them college students – he had obtained nude pictures of them and threatened to send them to their parents and friends if they did not comply with his requests to send him more lewd photographs, the complaints states.
He reportedly proved to some of the women he had gotten a hold of their private pictures by posting them online to public photo sharing websites, the complaint stated.
He also threatened that he was going to send some of the victims' revealing pictures to the Republican National Committee, according to the complaint.
On his LinkedIn profile , Savader identified himself as a former vice presidential operations intern at Romney for President in Boston, as well as a special assistant to the chief operating officer of Newt Gingrich's 2012 campaign in Arlington, Va. Attempts to verify Savader's titles were not successful, but his Facebook page includes photos of him with Romney and Gingrich.
"If we don't have a deal I will send the pictures to those people. Is that what u want? remember what's at stake. do u want ur family and everyone in DC to see ur [breasts]? Just agree to e-mail me a pic of u in ur bra [sic]," he texted one woman, according to the complaint.
Many of Savader's victims told authorities they had nude pictures on their personal email accounts that had been password protected, which Savader allegedly hacked into. Some said they received notifications that their passwords had been changed before receiving threats from Savader, the complaint stated.
Savader began contacting women from September 2012 to February 2013, according to the complaint. He allegedly used the alias "John Smith" to contact these women. "John Smith" never spoke to them over the phone, only through text messages.
Authorities were able to link some of the Google Voice accounts Savader used to his IP addresses and personal cell phone account, registered in his father's name, the complaint read.
The case was brought to the attention of the FBI by detectives from the Ann Arbor Police Department who received a complaint from one of the victims, the U.S. Attorney's Office news release stated.
At least four of the women attended the same university as Savader in Michigan, the complaint stated. Other women who were allegedly blackmailed by Savader lived in Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Long Island, N.Y., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office's press release.
The criminal complaint against Savader was filed on April 17, 2013 by an FBI agent in Detroit. The warrant for Savader's arrest was issued on April 22, according to the court docket.
Attempts to reach Savader's attorney, Michael Soshnick, were not successful.