Fairfield police have arrested a Rocky Hill man accused of setting up a fake modeling agency and then extorting want-to-be models for sex and money.
Anand Amin, 24, of Catherine Street in Rocky Hill posed online as a female talent scout for the fictitious "Gucci Top Modeling" company, according to police.
Applicants were promised large amounts of modeling work, but had to submit nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and biographical information and pay a fee to apply, police said.
After applying, several people were coerced into more money and/or perform sexual acts with Amin to prevent him from giving the revealing photos to friends, parents, university officials and law enforcement.
Police said there was no legitimate modeling aspect, victims never received modeling work or refunds, police said.
Police learned of the alleged scheme when a former Sacred Heart University student reported being a victim for the last two years. She told police Amin posed as another female college student -- a friend of a friend who has toes to modeling -- so she did not think anything of it.
“She thought that they had a mutual friend. She thought that it was a legitimate modeling company. All the while, he was portraying himself to be an agent or a representative of the modeling company,” Sgt. Sue Lussier, of Fairfield Police, said.
Then, Amin started sending the victims e-mails from the fake modeling agency and asked for money and photos to advance her modeling career.
The victim sent money, but Amin asked for more and asked for images that were more revealing than she was comfortable with, so she realized this was a scam and tried to get her money back, police said.
However, Amin threatened to send the risqué photos to family and friends, so the the woman went to Fairfield police.
The tip led police to execute search warrants at Amin's Rocky Hill home and evidence not only corroborated the victim's account, but led police to determine that there might be more than 40 victims, police said.
Investigators said they found laptops, DVDs and other evidence.
After a five-month investigation, Fairfield police arrested Amin and charged him with larceny in the first degree by extortion and criminal attempt to commit larceny in the first degree. .
Amin was held in lieu of $100,000 bond and is due to appear in court on Jan. 30.
Police are asking additional victims who police have not already been contacted to contact the detective bureau at 203-254-4840.
Amin was arrested on a first-degree criminal trespassing charge in Fairfield in 2010, according to court records. The Fairfield Citizen reports that he was arrested after visiting Sacred Heart University. He had been dismissed from the school and Bridgeport