My Palm Beach by Jorge Millan
May 23, 2018
The 60-year-old West Palm Beach man is part-owner of Mugshots, a website that collects the names and booking photos of people who have been arrested, publishes that information online, then charges hundreds of dollars to remove the content, even in cases that are either dismissed or never filed.
Last week, Keesee and three other men connected to Mugshots got a taste of their own medicine.
Keesee was arrested May 16 by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents and is being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Jail awaiting extradition to California, where he is being charged with extortion, money laundering and identity theft.
Prosecutors in California allege that Keesee and the three other men — Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie and David Usdan — broke state law by charging 175 people more than $64,000 to remove their arrest information from Mugshots.
Arrest data and booking photos are public record and can be accessed by anyone through the websites of law-enforcement agencies and then published online or in print. But 13 states, including Florida, outlaw sites like Mugshots from charging people to remove arrest information.
According to the arrest warrant, California authorities estimate Mugshots earned more than $2.4 million from thousands of victims nationwide between 2014 and 2017.
Mugshots, which continues to operate following the arrest of its owners, is only one of many online operations using simiilar tactics, authorities say.