FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A 24-year-old former Sacred Heart University student was arrested Thursday on charges of setting up a fake modeling agency and using it to harass women, Fairfield police said.
Anand Amin, of Rocky Hill, was charged in the scheme targeting would-be models and coercing them for sex and money, Fairfield police said.
A former SHU student first contacted police about the scheme last August and reported being harassed by Amin, police said.
According to a police report, the victim received an email in 2011 from a woman claiming to be from the Gucci Top Modeling Agency and asking her to be a model with them.
The victim told police she initially ignored the emails, but when the woman mentioned they had a common friend on Facebook -- Amin -- she approached him. He told her that he was an agent for the modeling agency, police said. When she was again approached via email, she accepted the offer and paid Amin an undisclosed amount of money as a retainer for the contract, police said.
At some point, Amin began to ask for "sexy" photos of the victim and in September 2012 began to harass her via email for sexual favors, police said. She threatened to contact an attorney, police said.
In the police report, it said that as part of the scheme, Amin posed online as a female talent scout for the fake "Gucci Top Modeling" company and promised applicants large sums of money for modeling work. As part of the application process, women were required to submit their biographical information, pay a fee and submit nude and/or seminude photos of themselves, the police report said.
The applicants who did so were then coerced into paying additional sums of money and/or performing sexual acts with Amin to prevent the public release of the photos, police said. He threatened to forward the photos or videos to friends, parents, university officials and law enforcement, police said.
There was no legitimate modeling aspect to this scheme, police said. Victims never received modeling work, nor was the money given to Amin refunded, police said.
A search warrant executed at Amin's Rocky Hill home corroborated the victim's account and led to the identification of additional victims, police said. Officers seized several laptops, netbooks, DVDs and CDs while searching the home, police said.
Amin He was charged with first-degree larceny by extortion and first-degree criminal attempt to commit larceny. He was held on $100,000 bond and is due to appear in court Jan. 30.
Any victims of the scheme who have not already been contacted by detectives are encouraged to call the Fairfield Detective Bureau at 203-254-4840.
He also had been arrested by Bridgeport police in 2010 on a charge of criminal trespassing at Sacred Heart University.