California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed extortion and money laundering charges against the website Mugshots.com for charging people a fee for removing their mugshot from the website.
The Attorney General’s office claims that the owners of Mugshots.com have collected $64,000 in so-called ‘de-publishing fees’ from 175 California citizens.
The charges were filed against Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee, Sahar Sarid, and David Usdan, all of whom lived outside of the state of California. The California AG’s office states that they are seeking the extradition of these 4 who have been charged and that they are currently working closely with state police officials in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, as well as local law enforcement officials in Palm Beach and Broward counties in Florida.
In 2014 Governor Jerry Brown signed a law making it illegal to charge a fee to remove mugshots from a website. Despite several other states passing similar legislation, Mugshots.com and other sites like it have continued to operate and charge people for the removal of their mugshot.