An ex-State Department worker was sentenced to nearly five years in prison Tuesday for operating a massive hacking and "sextortion" scheme out of the U.S. Embassy in London, federal prosecutors said, NBC News reported.
The operation often targeted young women — some of whom were American college students — the Justice Department said in a statement. In December, Michael C. Ford, 36, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of cyberstalking, hacking and wire fraud.
Ford, a married father from Atlanta, began working in administrative support at the embassy in 2009. Between 2013 and 2015, he admittedly ran a "campaign designed to force victims to provide Ford with personal information as well as sexually explicit videos," the statement said.
Ford also ran a related scheme where he posed as a model scout and obtained personal information and nude photos for "fictitious modeling opportunities," the statement said.