Hacker Pleads Guilty to Stealing Unpublished Scripts and Explicit Videos From Celebrities
A man accused of tricking celebrities into handing over their passwords and stealing TV and movie scripts, personal information, unreleased music, and sexually explicit videos pleaded guilty to charges of criminal copyright infringement and identity theft in a New York court on Monday. Alonzo Knowles agreed to hand over 25 unpublished scripts found in his Dropbox account, along with unreleased songs, and $1,900 in cash as part of a plea deal.
A complaint filed in December accused Knowles after he contacted a radio host in New York, offering to sell personal information and scripts for $80,000. The Department of Homeland Security stepped in after the host relayed the information to their executive producer, organizing a video conference call with an undercover agent in which Knowles promised "exclusive content" worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Knowles reportedly gained access to the information by texting celebrities to say that their email accounts had been compromised, and that they needed to provide him with their password to rectify the situation. It's not clear how many fell for the scam, but authorities said Knowles had a contact book of more than 130 movie and TV actors, musicians, and film production staff. The celebrities involved have not been named, but Reuters reports that among the scripts stolen by Knowles was one for upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez On Me.