Essex-based Akash Sondhi, who hacked into the computer accounts of nearly 600 young women to exploit them for his gratification has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for blackmail, voyeurism and cybercrimes, officials said on Wednesday.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that after gaining unauthorised access to some of the accounts, Sondhi, 27, went further in his plan to control his victims and proceeded to blackmail and threaten them between December 2016 and March 2020.
Sondhi told them if they did not send him nude images of themselves, he would post intimate images of them to their friends and family. Some of the young women complied with his requests and in at least six cases he carried out his threats.
He gained unauthorised access to hundreds of social media accounts, in particular Snapchat. A number of his victims experienced serious emotional and psychological harm in the aftermath of his despicable actions, with one victim attempting suicide.
Joseph Stickings of the CPS, said: “Akash Sondhi is an extremely manipulative man who inflicted emotional and psychological damage on young women while also getting gratification from their images and videos.”
“Following a diligent and thorough investigation conducted by the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit the CPS was able to build a comprehensive case of 65 counts reflecting the high level of his offending”.
He added: “I would like to thank all of the women who bravely came forward to tell of their traumatic experiences at the hands of Akash Sondhi. Their accounts provided strong evidence and the CPS were able to create such a compelling prosecution case that Akash Sondhi pleaded guilty to all counts.”