Posting mugshots on internet draws criminal charges from California AG

[ADAM ASHTON, SacBee]

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday filed extortion and money laundering charges against the owners of a website that publishes mugshot photos and charges a fee to remove them.

His office is targeting Mugshots.com, which pulls photos and identifying information about criminal suspects from law enforcement departments around the country. The site charges a "de-publishing fee" to remove someone from its archives, according to Becerra's office.

Becerra said it has frustrated people who were accused of crimes they did not commit.

"This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else’s humiliation,” Becerra said. "Those who can’t afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing, or try to build relationships with others. This is exploitation, plain and simple." ...

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