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Judge sentences celebrity hacker to five years in prison

Alonzo Knowles hacked into celebs' email accounts to steal info and sensitive photos.

A federal judge has sentenced Alonzo Knowles, the Bahamian man who hacked into celebs' emails to get scripts, secrets and sensitive photos, to five years in prison. That's twice longer than what the federal sentencing guidelines suggested, because Judge Paul A. Engelmayer felt that Knowles "would be a clear and present danger to commit the very same crime again." While the hacker expressed remorse in court ("What I did was wrong. I could have ruined people's lives," he said), he sent out some emails from jail that cemented the judge's decision to hand him a longer sentence.

In them, he said he'd "shake up Hollywood for real" by writing a book, "name dropping everyone involved" in it and including pictures he didn't leak in the past. He also said that he plans to hack into Twitter accounts to promote the book, which he wants to sell for $35. "Everyone loves gossip. I cant wait to get out i already know how the cover is gonna look," he added.

Knowles got access to celebs' emails by infecting their computers with malware and sending them fake automated text messages. If they prove to be quite tech-savvy, he'd hack into their friends' accounts to find juicy info on them or any sensitive images. Knowles was arrested in December 2015 when he tried to sell unreleased scripts for six episodes of Starz TV drama Power. He flew to New York to meet the potential buyer, who turned out to be an undercover agent.

Back in May, the defendant pleaded guilty, and his lawyer asked for a 14-month sentence. Unfortunately for him, Judge Engelmayer decided that his emails show he's devoid of remorse and that he belongs behind bars in federal prison, where he has no access to the internet.

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