A man involved in the celebrity nude-photo scandal Celebgate, also known as “The Fappening,” has been sentenced to nine months in prison, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice told TheWrap on Tuesday.
Edward Majerczyk, of Illinois, was also ordered to pay restitution to one of his victims.
Majerczyk agreed to plead guilty last year to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, specifically, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. He faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
While Majerczyk was charged in Los Angeles, the case was transferred to the Northern District of Illinois, where he was sentenced.
In his plea agreement, Majerczyk admitted that, from Nov. 23, 2013 through Aug. 2014, he engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain user names and passwords for his victims, including such stars as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco and Kirsten Dunst.
He sent emails to victims that appeared to be from security accounts of internet service providers that directed the victims to a website that would collect the victims’ usernames and passwords.
After victims responded by entering information at that website, Majerczyk had access to victims’ usernames and passwords. After illegally accessing the iCloud and Gmail accounts, Majerczyk obtained personal information including sensitive and private photographs and videos, according to his plea agreement.
According to authorities, Majerczyk accessed at least 300 accounts, and at least 30 accounts belonging to celebrities.
While the charge against Majerczyk stemmed from the investigation into the leaks of photographs of numerous female celebrities in September 2014, investigators did not uncover any evidence linking Majerczyk to the actual leaks.
Many of Majerczyk’s victims were members of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.
In October, hacker Ryan Collins was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the widespread nude photo hack.