News and Press Releases

Romanian National “Guccifer” Charged With Hacking Into Personal Email Accounts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Marcel Lehel Lazar, 42, of Arad, Romania, also known as the hacker “Guccifer,” was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Edward Lowery of the United States Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division, Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bill A. Miller of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security made the announcement.

According to the indictment, from December 2012 to January 2014, Lazar hacked into the email and social media accounts of high-profile victims, including a family member of two former U.S. presidents, a former U.S. Cabinet member, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former presidential advisor.  After gaining unauthorized access to their email and social media accounts, Lazar publicly released his victims’ private email correspondence, medical and financial information, and personal photographs.  The indictment also alleges that in July and August 2013, Lazar impersonated a victim after compromising the victim’s account.

If convicted of wire fraud or obstruction of justice, Lazar faces a maximum of 20 years of incarceration, and if convicted of unauthorized access of a protected computer or cyberstalking, he faces a maximum of 5 years of incarceration.  He also faces a mandatory additional 2 years of incarceration if convicted of aggravated identity theft.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

This case was investigated by United States Secret Service, the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, with assistance from the Romanian National Police.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Peter V. Roman of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Dickey of the Eastern District of Virginia.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

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