Operator of 'Revenge Porn' Site WinByState Arrested
LOS ANGELES — The operator of WinByState.com, a "revenge porn" website that posted sexually explicit photos and allegedly extorted victims for as much as $250 each to remove the illicit content, has been arrested.
Casey E. Meyering, 28, of Tulsa, Okla., was taken into custody Sunday in Tulsa by agents with the California Attorney General’s eCrime division and the Tulsa Police Department. Meyering, facing five felony extortion charges, is awaiting an extradition hearing on Tuesday.
The investigation into WinByState.com began when a Northern California hacking victim discovered nude photos of herself on the site that had been stolen from her computer, according to documents filed in Napa County Superior Court.
Described as “a user supported website where you can trade your ex-girlfriend, your current girlfriend, or any other girl that you might know,” WinByState.com solicited uploaders to identify their “wins” according to city and state, sometimes using the victim’s complete or partial name.
WinByState.com, which still is operable, says on its website that it has 320,000-plus view each month, 60,000 members and 10,000 girls. The site offers an affiliate program that makes 25 percent lifetime revenue.
There were over 400 postings in the California forum, and at least one victim was under 18 at the time the photographs were taken, according to court documents.
Court documents also allege that WinbyState.com required victims to pay $250 via a Google Wallet account to remove posted photographs.
The account was named TakeDownHammer, and was registered to Meyering at a non-existent Beverly Hills, Calif., storefront.
Authorities purchased a “takedown” for one the victims in Napa, and traced the funds to Meyering’s bank account in Tulsa, where surveillance footage from the bank identified him withdrawing money from the account.
“This behavior is the very definition of predatory and this website made a game out of humiliating victims for profit,” Calif. Attorney General Kamala Harris said. “These actions at their core are about one individual exploiting the privacy and trust of others for financial gain.
"We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who participate in these deplorable and illegal activities.”