Bahamian man pleads guilty to hacking 130 celebrities

A hacker from the Bahamas has pleaded guilty to stealing data, including scripts and private sexually explicit material, from 130 celebrities.

Alonzo Knowles, 23, made his plea to a court in New York on Monday and now faces up to 10 years in prison and six years of supervised release.

Knowles was arrested after trying to sell 15 scripts for $80,000 (£55,400) to undercover agents in New York.

The stolen data also included social security numbers.

As part of a plea deal, Knowles agreed to give up $1,900 and 25 unpublished scripts and music tracks found in his DropBox account.

One of the scripts he had offered to sell to agents was for All Eyez on Me – the forthcoming biopic about rapper Tupac Shakur, who died in a 1996 shooting.

“Alonzo Knowles targeted and hacked into the private emails of celebrities in entertainment and in professional sports,” said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.

“His crimes did not end with this frightening invasion of privacy, as Knowles then sought to sell what he stole, including unreleased movie and television scripts, to the highest bidder.

“Thanks to the terrific work of the Homeland Security Investigations agents and prosecutors in my office, this story of cybercrime meets celebrity stalking ends well, with the perpetrator caught and convicted.”