Mugshots.com works like this: they post pictures of your mugshots, publicize them as part of a public database of criminals and such, then charge you money to remove them. Here are the mugshots of two guys arrested on charges of extortion who are reportedly the site's owners—not coming down at any price.
West Palm Beach TV:
California outlawed charging people money to remove their mugshot from the internet in 2014, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Last year, Florida passed similar legislation prohibiting soliciting or accepting a fee to remove a booking photograph. The law goes into effect July 1.
From the California warrant:
Mugshots.com does not remove criminal record information until a subject pays the fee. This is the case even if the subject had charges dismissed or had been arrested due to mistaken identity or law enforcement error. Those subjects who cannot pay the fee may subsequently be denied housing, employment, or other opportunities because their booking photo is readily available on the internet.
"This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else's humiliation," said Attorney General Becerra. "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."
The defendants named in the complaint are Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee, and David Usdan. They are the alleged owners and operators of Mugshots.com. Over a three-year period, the defendants extracted more than $64,000 in removal fees from approximately 175 individuals with billing addresses in California. Nationally, the defendants took more than $2 million in removal fees from approximately 5,703 individuals for the same period.
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