Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York,announced Tuesday that three professional athletes and a movie actress were among those that had their email accounts hacked by a man who stole Social Security numbers, sex tapes and unreleased scripts.
Bharara, said the suspect, Alonzo Knowles, a 23-year-old Freeport, Bahamas-based man, threatened to sell the information. He has been charged with criminal copyright infringement and identity theft charges, Bharara said in a statement.
The names of the athletes and actress have not been released.
“This case has all of the elements of the kind of blockbuster script the defendant, Alonzo Knowles, is alleged to have stolen: hacks into celebrities’ private emails, identity theft, and attempts to sell victims’ information to the highest bidder," Bharara said in his statement. "Unfortunately, these circumstances are all too real. I want to thank HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) for their quick work to stop Knowles’s alleged intrusions and his efforts to profit from the information he stole.”
Knowles allegedly broke into the into the email accounts of at least five people in the entertainment, professional sports and media, stealing sexually explicit videos, personal identification information and scripts for TV shows, which he later tried to sell to a radio host, said Bharara, in a statement Tuesday.
Knowles, who also goes by the name Jeff Moxey, was arrested when he tried to sell 15 movie and television scripts and the Social Security numbers of three professional athletes and a movie actress for $80,000 to an undercover agent, prosecutors said.
The radio host unraveled Knowles’ scheme when he contacted the executive producer of a popular television drama alerting the producer that someone was offering to sell advance scripts for the show, according to the Bharara.
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