In April, Richard L. Finkbiner, 39, was preliminarily charged with two counts of sexually exploiting two minors. However, after three months of additional investigating, officials announced Tuesday that Finkbiner faces more charges related to the alleged sextortion scheme.
The office of United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett, Southern District of Indiana, charged Finkbiner Tuesday with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children, two counts of extortion and one count of possession of child pornography.
"This does not mean that these are the only victims," Hogsett said. "In fact, the investigation is ongoing.
"The investigation will continue. If more victims come forward, their concerns will be addressed. This has been a very thorough, comprehensive investigation."
Federal authorities arrested Finkbiner April 6. Initially, he faced allegations of sexual exploitation of two minors by "inducing and coercing them into sexually explicit activity online."
However, during the serving of a search warrant of Finkbiner's Clay County home, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) allegedly found thousands of sexually explicit images and videos depicting hundreds of possible victims.
Tuesday's charges allege Finkbiner sexually exploited nine boys and one girl. The victims live in Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado. The children ranged in age from 12 to 17.
In addition, Finkbiner faces charges of extorting two females, one from Alaska, and the other from Minnesota.
Federal prosecutors allege Finkbiner threatened the two females with the possibility of distributing sexually suggestive and/or partially nude images.
The child pornography charge Finkbiner faces stems from him allegedly possessing images he captured from the charged sexual exploitation victims in addition to an alleged collection of child pornography gathered from the Internet.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers, one of the attorneys prosecuting the case for the government, said the ensuing investigation turned up thousands of video files.
"The number of electronic evidence in this case is massive," Myers said. "We're still examining the material."
Officials allege Finkbiner used the website Omegle.com, as well as other anonymous video chat websites, to locate children on the Internet.
It is alleged Finkbiner would then utilize "fake webcam" software to display pornographic videos of adults and of children to his victims, which he claimed to be live feeds from his own webcam.
During the displaying of the videos to chat partners, Finkbiner allegedly would induce the victims to engage in sexually explicit or suggestive activity themselves, which he recorded.
Officials allege Finkbiner would then confront his chat partners with the videos or images of their activities, threatening to publish the video on pornographic websites or send them to the victims' "friends, family and school teachers unless they became his 'cam slaves,' and engaged in additional sexually explicit activity, which Finkbiner also allegedly recorded.
Officials allege Finkbiner would then maintain contact with the victims through the use of several e-mails he used as aliases.
According to officials, Finkbiner faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for each count of sexual exploitation of children, in addition to a maximum of two years in prison for each count of extortion and a maximum of 10 years in prison for the charge of possession of child pornography.
According to Myers, an initial hearing will be scheduled in Terre Haute at a later date. Since then, Finkbiner has been in the custody of the United States Marshals Service.
"Sextortion is becoming more of a common crime," Myers said. "All of the tools we're alleging (Finkbiner) used are only a few google (clicks) away."
"These charges formalize allegations of a systematic scheme to victimize hundreds of children and teenagers all over the country," Hogsett said. "We believe (this case) has the potential to be the largest sextortion scheme that we have ever prosecuted."
Alleged e-mails used
On Tuesday, the office of United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett, Southern District of Indiana, released e-mail addresses, which were thought to have been allegedly used by Richard L. Finkbiner, 39, Brazil, in the course of his sextortion scheme, including:
* firstname.lastname@example.org, and
Anyone who believes they have had contact with these e-mail addresses and/or believes they have been the victim of sexual exploitation online is encouraged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at 877-542-8979.