Edward Majerczyk, 28, of Chicago and Orland Park, Illinois, agreed to plead guilty last Friday, July 1, in a criminal case that had him accused of hacking over 300 iCloud and Gmail accounts, of which 30 belonged to Hollywood and other celebrities.
Majerczyk was the second man accused of participating in The Fappening celebrity hacking scandal during which hackers breached the iCloud and Gmail personal email accounts of 100 celebrities and leaked private images and videos, sometimes adult in nature.
The first suspect was never charged, Majerczyk was the second
Prior to naming Majerczyk, the FBI raided the home of Emilio Herrera, another Chicago native, on October 15, 2014. This past January, it was revealed that the FBI conducted a mirror raid on the house of Majerczyk, on the same day.
Authorities said that Majerczyk registered the email@example.com email address, similar to the official firstname.lastname@example.org address. He then used it to send spear-phishing emails to various celebrities.
The FBI said the suspect accessed 330 accounts over 600 different times, downloading sensitive material, from November 23, 2013, through August 2014.
Court documents mentioned the celebrities’ initials: J.L., K.U., J.V. and A.L. The initials J.L. could stand for Jennifer Lawrence, K.U. for Kate Upton, and J.V. for Justin Verlander, all victims of The Fappening (or Celebgate).
According to his plea deal, once Majerczyk officially signs the document, he will face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
A third suspect has already pleaded guilty
In March, the US Department of Justice announced that they charged Ryan Collins, 36, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with hacking the Apple and Gmail accounts of several celebrities between November 2012 and September 2014.
FBI said Collins hacked 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts. Collins later pleaded guilty and agreed to a recommended prison term of 18 months.
Authorities state that neither Majerczyk nor Collins was the one who uploaded the pictures online. This could be the work of Herrera or a fourth suspect.