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Hacker may pay more than $150,000 for targeting celebrities

Christopher Chaney, right, is shown outside of a courtroom in this undated file photo.
June 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Florida man who hacked into celebrities' email accounts may have to pay out more than $150,000 to the stars he targeted.

Back in March, Christopher Chaney pleaded guilty to nine felony counts in federal court, including wiretapping, unauthorized access to a protected computer and damaging a protected computer. The prosecution dropped a charge of aggravated identity theft in exchange for the guilty plea.

He targeted dozens of celebrities in the entertainment industry including Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson.

Chaney admitted to using publically available information to figure out passwords and answers to security questions to celebrities' accounts. He then hacked into the email accounts, went through contact lists to find accounts of fellow stars, and hijacked a forwarding feature so a copy of every email a celebrity received was sent to an account he controlled, according to court documents.

Chaney is expected to be sentenced next month and could face 71 months in prison. He could also have to pay $7,500 in restitution to Aguilera, more than $66,000 Johansson and nearly $77,000 to actress Renee Olstead from the show "The Secret Life of an American Teenager."


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