Sunday, December 23, 2012

Florida Man Convicted in Wiretapping Scheme Targeting Celebrities

A Florida man who hacked into the personal e-mail accounts of more than 50 people associated with the entertainment industry—including actors Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, and Renee Olstead—was sentenced this afternoon to 120 months in federal prison.

Christopher Chaney, 36, of Jacksonville, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero, who also ordered the defendant to pay $66,179 in restitution. At today’s hearing, Judge Otero said Chaney’s conduct demonstrated a “callous disregard to the victims”—particularly, two non-celebrity victims, each of whom was stalked by Chaney for more than 10 years. Judge Otero noted that with the increase in cybercrime, it is important to realize that extreme emotional distress can be as devastating as a physical injury.

Chaney has been in custody since March, when he pleaded guilty to nine felony counts, including wiretapping and unauthorized access to protected computers. (more)