A man was arrested on Monday in Manhattan for allegedly hacking into numerous celebrities’ accounts and stealing scripts, personal information and private sex tapes.
Alonzo Knowles, 23, faces charges of copyright infringement and identity theft, NBC reported, adding that Knowles was allegedly attempting to sell stolen material to an undercover agent at the time of his arrest.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a news release quoted by CBS. “Unfortunately, these circumstances are all too real.”
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Knowles reportedly claimed to an undercover agent that he had “exclusive content … worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” prosecutors said to CBS, adding that he allegedly offered to sell the agent sexually explicit images and videos he had stolen from various celebrities.
Knowles also allegedly claimed to have “a very popular A-list celebrity's Social Security number along with 30 unreleased tracks towards their upcoming album,” CBS reported.
The court papers did not identify the victims, NBC stated, saying that additional details from the investigation are expected from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan at a later time.
Knowles faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of both copyright infringement and identity theft, prosecutors said to CBS.