Qayed Murtaza Shareef, 39, an Orange County CEO is suspected of using a social messaging application to convince two boys to trade explicit photos and videos with him is being held on $2 million bail.
Shareef, of Aliso Viejo, faces 33 felony counts, including over 20 counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, possessing child pornography and sending harmful matter to a minor with the intent of seduction.
Shareef, founded Adaptive Media, a Irvine-based digital advertising company. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at a Friday arraignment.
Authorities allege that between Christmas day and Dec. 29 in 2013, Shareef used an online messaging application called Tango and contacted a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy who lived in Virginia. Using a fake name, Shareef is alleged to have convinced the two boys to commit sex acts on each other. Further, authorities allege Shareef asked the boys to record their sexual acts and email them to him.
Prosecutors say Shareef recorded sex acts he performed on himself, and sent the videos and adult pornography, to the children. No direct physical contact between Shareef fans the boys is known at this time.
In California law, lewd or lascivious act can occur if someone willfully causes a child to touch their body or another child's body in an effort to arouse someone's sexual desires.
The mother of one of the boys found the video on his tablet and immediately contacted law enforcement agency in Virginia. The investigation was then turned over to the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, a multi-agency team that includes investigators from the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the Orange County Sheriffs Department and the Newport Beach Police Department.