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A 26-year-old man from McLean has been convicted by a federal jury for creating and watching child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Federal prosecutors say Zackary Ellis Sanders sexually exploited at least six different minors between 2017 and 2020, according to the news release:

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, from at least 2017 to 2020, Zackary Ellis Sanders, 26, engaged in sexual conversations over multiple mobile messaging platforms with at least six different minors. In these conversations, he directed five minors to engage in sexually explicit and self-harming conduct, record themselves doing so, and send the resulting videos to him. He also received videos of a sixth minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Additional forensic evidence recovered from multiple laptops and thumb drives found in Sanders’s bedroom pursuant to a court-authorized search established that he possessed different images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of other children, including videos depicting the sexual abuse of a toddler and prepubescent children being sexually abused and subjected to sadistic acts. Sanders obtained these images from a Darkweb website, the sole purpose of which was to share and facilitate the viewing of such material.

Sanders faces at least 15 years in prison — the mandatory minimum for the production, receipt, and possession of child pornography charges of which he was convicted. U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III has set the sentencing hearing for March 4, 2022.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative that the Department of Justice launched in May 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Photo via Google Maps

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Todd Hitt, the founder of Falls Church-based Kiddar Capital and a member of the prominent construction family, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with securities fraud.

Earlier this year Kiddar made several announcements to some fanfare in the local business press: bringing on the son of a well-known local real estate developer to head the company’s venture capital group, making plans to invest significantly in homebuilding projects, and planning to relocate to a new office building in Falls Church.

Today, however, Hitt is due to appear in federal court in Alexandria, facing charges that come with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The company’s Twitter and Instagram accounts have been shut down. Its Facebook page remains active but has not posted new content since August.

More on the charges via a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia:

A Fairfax man surrendered to the FBI on an outstanding arrest warrant today in connection with being charged with having committed securities fraud.

According to court documents, Todd Elliott Hitt, 53, is alleged to have committed securities fraud in connection with his ownership and operation of Kiddar Capital, a self-described asset management firm based in Falls Church. According to the allegations, Hitt falsely claimed that Kiddar Capital managed $1.4 billion in assets and had offices located in Houston, Palm Springs, and London. The complaint further alleges that Hitt raised more than $16 million from investors by misrepresenting that Hitt would invest $6 million as a general partner as part of a planned $33 million purchase of a Herndon building adjacent to a future stop on the Silver Line of the Washington, D.C., Metro. According to the complaint, Hitt further failed to disclose to investors his extravagant spending, which included the leasing of private jets and the purchase of sports tickets and jewelry, among other things.

Hitt, who will make his initial appearance today at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, is charged with securities fraud, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the charges were unsealed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark D. Lytle is prosecuting the case.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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