Two Foreign Nationals Convicted of Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Defraud Apple Inc. Out of 5,000 iPhones
Marcel Lehel Lazar, 44, of Arad, Romania, a hacker who used the online moniker “Guccifer,” was sentenced today to 52 months in prison for unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Director Bill A. Miller of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and Special Agent in Charge Brian J. Ebert of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
Lazar pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia on May 25, 2016.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, from at least October 2012 to January 2014, Lazar intentionally gained unauthorized access to personal email and social media accounts belonging to approximately 100 Americans, and he did so to unlawfully obtain his victims’ personal information and email correspondence. Lazar’s victims included an immediate family member of two former U.S. presidents, a former member of the U.S. Cabinet, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former presidential advisor, he admitted. In many instances, Lazar publically released his victims’ private email correspondence, medical and financial information and personal photographs, according to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement.
The FBI, DSS and the Secret Service investigated the case. Senior Counsel Ryan K. Dickey and Peter V. Roman of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maya D. Song and Jay V. Prabhu of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance. The Justice Department thanks the government of Romania for their assistance in this matter.