A Texas-based CCTV technician pleaded guilty this week to illegally accessing the security cameras of hundreds of families to watch
people in their homes get naked and engage in sexual activities.
According to a criminal complaint [PDF], Telesforo Aviles, a 35-year-old, committed his crimes between November 2015 and March 2020 while working as a support technician for ADT, a provider of home security services.
Aviles’s job involved installing home video surveillance cameras at customer premises and configuring the devices to work with the company’s proprietary ADT Pulse app.
But prosecutors said that Aviles strayed from company policy and started adding his personal email address to customers ADT Pulse app during the installation and testing process.
Investigators said the technician usually targeted attractive women, and he used the backdoor account to access the camera’s real-time video feed and spy on customers in intimate moments in their homes and with their partners.
The technician’s scheme was discovered in January and February 2020 when several customers discovered Aviles’ email address in their app’s configuration panel and reported the incidents to ADT, which later referred the case to authorities.
Aviles was charged in April 2020 and pleaded guilty [PDF] this week, on Thursday.
Prosecutors said Aviles accessed more than 200 customer CCTV systems on more than 9,600 occasions.
The former ADT technician now faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to court documents. He was conditionally released earlier this week [PDF].
ADT notified its customers of the incident in April 2020. The New York Post reported at the time that the company tried to convince customers to sign a confidentiality agreement in exchange for a monetary payment so Aviles’ actions wouldn’t leak online.
Their efforts didn’t work, and the company is currently facing three class-action lawsuits[1, 2, 3] as a result of its former employee’s actions.