Man in Celebrity-Hacking Case Gets 9-Month Sentence | NBC 6 South Florida

Man in Celebrity-Hacking Case Gets 9-Month Sentence

Edward Majerczyk, 29, was accused of orchestrating a phishing scheme that illegally accessed more than 300 email and other online accounts

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    A judge on Tuesday sentenced an Illinois man accused of hacking into the electronic accounts of 30 celebrities and stealing private information, including nude videos and photos, to nine months in prison. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017)

    A judge on Tuesday sentenced an Illinois man accused of hacking into the electronic accounts of 30 celebrities and stealing private information, including nude videos and photos, to nine months in prison.

    Edward Majerczyk will also have to pay $5,700 in restitution for one victim's counseling, the judge ruled.

    The charge against Majerczyk stemmed from an investigation into the leaks of photographs of numerous female celebrities in September 2014 that became known as "Celebgate."

    Majerczyk was accused of orchestrating a phishing scheme that illegally accessed more than 300 email and other online accounts, including those belonging to actress Jennifer Lawrence.

    Moises Castillo/AP

    In the scandal, some of the private photos were leaked onto websites like 4chan.org and Reddit, with as many as 100 celebrities targeted.

    Investigators, however, have not found evidence linking Majerczyk to the leaks.

    The 29-year-old pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles last year to felony computer hacking. He signed a plea agreement for his case to be transferred to Chicago. Both sides agreed that he should receive a 9-month prison term.

    Federal agents have said Lawrence broke down and became distraught during a 2014 meeting about nude photos of her that appeared online.

    Before his sentence was handed down, prosecutors said Majerczyk committed a serious offense and called the case "troubling." Majerczyk's attorney said his client accepted responsibility for his actions and had expressed remorse, noting that he had no criminal record. He also emphasized that Majerczyk made no effort to sell or distribute the images he obtained.