Vinod Khosla's daughter targeted in extortion plot

Last Updated 25 April 2014, 08:27 IST

A former boyfriend of Indian-American billionaire investor Vinod Khosla's daughter has been charged with threatening to publish her naked photos as part of an extortion plot.

FBI agents last week arrested Douglas Tarlow, 27, a Stanford University graduate, who dated Khosla's daughter Nina for about two years, in connection with the alleged extortion plot, according to The Smoking Gun, an investigative news site. Tarlow was subsequently released from custody and is scheduled for a US District Court preliminary hearing Friday.

Khosla, the 59-year-old venture capitalist who co-founded Sun Microsystems, is worth $1.5 billion, according to a recent Forbes magazine estimate.

According to the Smoking Gun, Tarlow allegedly threatened to distribute the naked images online, warning in one e-mail that, "Everything is going to reddit. From there, it will be impossible to remove from the internet forever."

In a text message to Nina Khosla's mother Neeru, who was sent the nude photos, Tarlow stated, "it seems you're going to be the mother of the next Paris Hilton," investigators allege.

The FBI's investigation of Tarlow is detailed in a court affidavit sworn by Agent Glenn Solomon-Hill, who is assigned to the bureau's San Francisco's office.

While the FBI affidavit does not name Tarlow's alleged targets, The Smoking Gun said it has confirmed that the Khoslas are the victims referred to in the document.

Nina Khosla, 26, declined to answer questions from the news site about the case. "I'd prefer that you didn't write about that," Khosla was quoted as saying.

She added that her family contacted law enforcement authorities soon after receiving threatening communications.

Tarlow and Nina Khosla, who met in 2007, dated for about two years before breaking up in late-2010.

The couple, who studied in Stanford's Product Design programme, started Lokho, a design firm for which Khosla registered a web site in mid-2009.

During their relationship, Khosla "voluntarily took nude photos and video," which she shared with Tarlow, according to Agent Solomon-Hill as cited by the Smoking Gun.

In September 2012, Nina and Neeru Khosla each received a series of texts from Tarlow's phone number. The messages included several naked photos of Nina Khosla taken during the period she dated Tarlow.

In subsequent communications, Tarlow allegedly sought $72,000, which he claimed the Khosla foundation owed him.

In the final e-mail cited by investigators, Tarlow allegedly wrote to Neeru Khosla on December 14.

He attached "a different nude picture" of her daughter, and asked, "Do you still want to buy these?'

The Smoking Gun said Tarlow did not respond to an e-mail sent to his Gmail account, nor to voicemail messages left on several phone numbers he has used.

(Published 25 April 2014, 08:27 IST)

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