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An ADT Security Services technician pleaded guilty this week to spying on hundreds of Dallas residents — primarily young women and couples — after installing and hacking into their home surveillance systems.
Telesforo Aviles, 35, secretly watched “attractive women” and couples having sex for his own “sexual gratification” for nearly half a decade, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty to computer fraud before a federal judge on Thursday.
“This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers’ homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments,” U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement. “We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust.”
According to charging documents obtained by Oxygen.com, Aviles began tapping into clients’ security cameras without their knowledge in 2015. He admitted to secretly accessing hundreds of customer cameras over 9,600 times over a period of four and a half years.
Aviles said that he routinely added his personal email to customers’ ADT Pulse accounts, which allowed him real-time access to their home surveillance systems. At times, he told customers he needed to add himself to the accounts temporarily to “test” the system. Other times, he added himself without their knowledge or consent, prosecutors said.
“This would allow Aviles to gain access to the video footage of the cameras installed at customers’ homes at any time,” court papers stated.
He purposefully targeted the homes of young women and married couples with daughters, prosecutors said.
“Aviles would remember specific female customers that he found attractive and would then access their cameras later in the day,” court documents added. “Once logged onto a specific customer’s account, Aviles would begin accessing additional customer accounts to which he had access.”
In April 2016, Aviles installed a security camera that monitored the living room and kitchen of a Texas couple that had two young daughters. He logged into their account a total of 322 times. A year earlier, he installed cameras in a separate family’s home who had five underage children — and secretly viewed their security feed 361 times.
As recently as Jan. 2020 he installed a security system that included configuring outdoor, doorbell, and interior cameras at a customers’ home where a 19-year-old girl lived. He later accessed those cameras 27 times.
“The defendant used his position of employment to illegally breach the privacy of numerous people,” FBI Special Agent Matthew J. DeSarno said. “Cyber intrusions do not only affect businesses, but also members of the public. We encourage everyone to practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords.”
ADT terminated Aviles’s employment in April after 17 years with the company, according to court records. He was charged on Oct. 19.
“The company has been actively assisting law enforcement, including the FBI, in their investigation to help bring justice to Aviles’ victims,” ADT said in a statement following his arrest.
“This also has caused us to review all of our processes, technical systems, and hiring practices to strengthen our account security and customer privacy even more,” the company added. “This incident does not reflect the values of our brand nor the thousands of men and women at ADT who have dedicated their careers to helping protect others.”
The home security giant said at least 220 of its Texas customers’ accounts were compromised. Some of those affected have filed a class-action lawsuit against ADT over the breaches.
“While ADT boasts that it has been protecting people for over 145 years and holds itself out as #1 in smart home security, it failed to even secure its own systems from massive and ongoing intrusions into its customers’ private lives,” lawyers wrote in a complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
The civil case, filed in Florida on behalf of a woman who was a teenager at the time of the cyber intrusions, claims that Aviles spied on her nearly 100 times over several years. He had installed a wide-angle camera at the woman’s home, which allegedly recorded her in “various states of undress,” and in “moments of physical intimacy,” her lawyers said.
ADT is also accused in the complaint of silencing victims by pressuring them into signing confidentiality agreements for a small sum that represented “a fraction of the value of their claims."
On Friday, ADT spokesman Paul Wiseman declined to comment on the pending civil suit.
Aviles faces up to five years in federal prison, according to plea documents. A sentencing date hasn’t yet been set. His defense attorney, Thomas Pappas, didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com's request for comment on Friday.
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