U.S Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York
(212) 637-2600
October 6, 2014

Manhattan Man Indicted in Manhattan Federal Court for Producing, Receiving, and Possessing Child Pornography

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the filing of an Indictment in Manhattan federal court charging MATTHEW VADO, a Manhattan resident, with production of child pornography, receiving child pornography, and possessing child pornography. VADO, who was previously arrested in June 2014, has been detained since his arrest.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “This Office has zero tolerance for those who, like Matthew Vado, would allegedly use the Internet and mobile apps as a means to target and victimize children.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said: “Protecting our young people is some of the most important work we do at the FBI. We will continue to police our communities in search of cunning suspects looking to exploit our children.”

According to the Indictment and the June 17, 2014 Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:

Between June 2013 and June 2014, VADO engaged in multiple chats over the Internet with eight different minor children between the ages of nine and 15. In those chats, VADO induced eight children to send sexually explicit images of themselves to VADO over the Internet, and, among other things, sought to persuade one child to engage in a sexual act with a dog. VADO used “Kik Messenger,” a mobile communication application that can be downloaded for use on iPhones and similar mobile devices, to contact at least one child, and also used Kik Messenger to induce and receive sexually explicit images and/or videos of the child and to send pornographic images of himself to the child. VADO employed a username on Kik Messenger that was not his real name.

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VADO, 32, is charged with eight counts of production of child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. Each production of child pornography count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The receipt of child pornography count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and the possession of child pornography count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

For information about the status of these federal criminal proceedings, victims may call the Victim Witness Coordinator for the United States Attorney’s Office at (866) 874-8900.

Persons with information about children with whom VADO may have had inappropriate sexual contact, or from whom he may have solicited sexually explicit images or videos, are urged to contact the FBI hotline established for this investigation at (212) 384-1600, as well as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Sex Crimes Hotline at (212) 335-9373. The Manhattan Child Advocacy Center is available to provide services to children who may be victims of VADO’s conduct, including both inappropriate sexual contact and sexually explicit images. The Manhattan Child Advocacy Center can provide information about obtaining immediate medical treatment, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and mental health counseling. The Manhattan Child Advocacy Center can be contacted at:

Manhattan Child Advocacy Center
1753 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10035
(646) 695-6100

Mr. Bharara thanked and praised the investigative work of the FBI in this matter, as well as the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Max Nicholas is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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