28 March 2012
Accused celebrity hacker to plead guilty
A Florida man who said he became "addicted" to hacking into e-mail accounts, including those of celebrities Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson, will plead guilty Monday to nine counts, according to court documents.
Christopher Chaney, 35, of Jacksonville, said he started hacking as a curiosity and it "snowballed." He said he "didn't know how to stop."
"I deeply apologize. I know what I did was probably one of the worst invasions of privacy someone could experience," Chaney told CNN affiliate WAWS/WTEV in Jacksonville, Florida, in October 2011.
According to a plea agreement released Thursday, Chaney faces up to 60 years in prison on federal charges that include unauthorized access and damage to a protected computer and wiretapping. He also could be fined $2.25 million and ordered to pay restitution.
Chaney was accused of hacking into e-mail accounts and devices belong to more than 50 people, including entertainers Christina Aguilera, Simone Harouche and Renee Olstead, prosecutors said.
"Mr. Chaney has from the onset of these charges maintained that he would accept responsibility for any crimes he may have committed," defense attorney Christopher Chestnut said in a statement to CNN on Friday. "He is honoring that commitment on Monday with a change of plea. He remains remorseful for harms that may be been caused to those named in the charging document. He is now seeking a reasonable sentencing commensurate with the crimes charged."
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