The man at the center of this federal investigation is 36-year-old James S. Allen from Detroit. Authorities say Allen was using the internet to blackmail teenage girls into posing nude for him, a crime which is becoming known as 'sextortion.'

As you can see in the video below, Allen allegedly would make contact with the girls using social media, texts or email. He would convince the girls he had nude photos of them, and lure them to a phishing website in order to verify the existence of those photos, whether they were there or not. That allowed him to collect their account information, and hack their accounts. As part of his harassment, he threatened to post the naked photos publicly, unless they agreed to pose nude for him.

Reports indicate that Allen made contact with 18 girls who were between 14 and 18 years old, all in the Buffalo, New York area. He's currently in jail in New York awaiting trial.

- George McIntyre
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