A 28-year old Illinois resident accused of hacking into the iCloud and Gmail accounts of celebrities, and other individuals have stated he is ready to plead guilty to a felony computer hacking charge that could land him up to 5-years of jail term.
However, Edward Majerczyk might escape with a much lighter punishment as the plea agreement believes his sentence could be around 6 to 12 months only. Majerczyk has been booked under the Computer Fraud, and Abuse Act revealed the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Charges against Majerczyk include breaking into the personal online accounts of more than 300 residents including about 30 celebrities and stealing their confidential information. That also includes several nude images and videos of the celebrities. Majerczyk used phishing tactics from November 2013 to August 2014 to trick the said people into revealing their usernames and passwords.
The case gained notoriety given that Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence along with several other Hollywood actresses such as Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union too are among the victims of the Majerczyk induced phishing scam.
The investigation was launched after the actors and other celeb complained during their interviews that their private details have landed up in the public domain.
Majerczyk’s case also reminds one of a similar case where information of sensitive nature, including an intimate picture of celebs, were stolen and posted online. The accused, Pennsylvania resident Ryan Collins, 36, too had pleaded guilty in March.
However, subsequent investigations failed to establish a link between Majerczyk and Collins even though both are accused of a crime similar in nature. Similar to the case with Collins, investigators could not prove Majerczyk had posted online any pictures or videos he had access to.
It also isn’t the first time that celebs have been targeted in online scams. In another such incident, a man in Florida had been sentenced to a 10-year prison term in 2012 after having illegally accessed the email accounts of celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, and Christina Aguilera.