Former Pediatrician Sentenced to 7½ Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Scores of Images of Child Sexual Abuse Material
LOS ANGELES – An Israeli man was sentenced today to 360 months in federal prison for blackmailing dozens of girls into producing child pornography for him.
Elad Gaber, 39, was sentenced by United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, who also ordered him placed on lifetime supervised release once he completes serving his prison sentence. Gaber pleaded guilty on May 7 to one count of use of a facility of interstate commerce to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Since at least 2010, Gaber executed a systematic “sextortion” scheme on dozens of victims, beginning with obtaining compromising videos of the girls. Gaber located victims through social media and found some type of “embarrassing” material of them, usually suggestive or nude photos.
He would then locate the victim on Facebook, copy her contact list, and threaten to release her compromising video to her entire contact list – often including her parents and schoolmates – if she did not live-stream sex acts according to a detailed script.
If the victims did not immediately comply, Gaber blackmailed them by sending them screenshots of the consequences of noncompliance, often either of a prewritten, but unsent, message to those close to the girls with the embarrassing material attached or the aftermath for previous victims where he had sent the material.
For those who complied, Gaber would demand the girl perform the script on herself over a video chat while he gave live feedback and criticism.
For several victims, Gaber used the material from the cam sessions as further material with which to blackmail them. If a victim refused to do as he demanded, Gaber would vengefully distribute her prior compromising material to some of her social media contacts, which often included the victims’ parents.
In 2014, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Gaber after a victim in Southern California reported him to law enforcement. Israel extradited Gaber to the United States last year to face criminal charges in this case.
In court today, some of Gaber’s victims spoke of the emotional impact they suffered from his actions, which led for some to substance abuse, suicide attempts, and lost educational and employment opportunities. Several victims also told the court that despite the trauma, they have managed to overcome what happened to them. As one victim concluded her statement today in court, she told Gaber, “Not only am I a victim, but I am a survivor.”
The FBI investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Catharine A. Richmond of the Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted this case. The Israeli authorities and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the arrest and extradition from Israel.
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney’s Office
Central District of California (Los Angeles)