An Australian man faces extradition to the US after allegedly posing as a teenage girl or boy online to trick and then extort boys into performing sex acts on the internet.
Mark Anthony Warren, 49, was arrested in NSW after an investigation by the FBI, US attorney for the southern district of New York, Preet Bharara, announced on Friday.
“As alleged, Mark Anthony Warren used social media and phoney profiles to ensnare his minor victims and later force them into engaging in sexually explicit acts that he recorded,” Bharara said.
“Warren allegedly believed he could hide behind the anonymity of the internet and use special computer software to escape detection, but he was sorely mistaken.”
One of Warren’s alleged victims was a 14-year-old New York boy.
When Warren tricked boys into engaging in sexually explicit conduct online, he secretly recorded it and then threatened to disseminate the videos unless the children produced and sent him additional sexually explicit videos, prosecutors allege.
He allegedly created bogus accounts on various social media websites using false teenage girl and boy identities to trick the children.
Warren is charged with one count of production of child pornography and one count of attempted production of child pornography.
Each charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in US federal prison and a maximum 30 years.
He is also charged with receipt and distribution of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20.
Bharara praised the FBI, NSW Police and the Australian Federal Police.