Adi Lederman, an Israeli hacker has been convicted today on multiple counts of illegal computer trespassing, invasion of privacy and the copying of copyrighted work for purposes of selling them to profit.
Under the plea bargain and his own confession, Lederman cited Madonna as one of his victims. The singer had raised complaints earlier this year about unfinished songs from her latest album being leaked online without her approval. Despite his confession, Lederman did not specify that he was behind the leaking of the songs, according to a report in Reuters.
Judge Tzahi Ouzeil sentenced Lederman to 14 months in prison with probationary terms of six and eight months, along with a fine for 15,000 shekels or about $4000.
“The ease with which crimes such as this can be committed by those who have skills in the field, such as the accused, require an appropriate punitive response that has a deterrent and uncompromising message,” said the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court in a statement.
Lederman admitted to hacking Madonna’s computers and those that belonged to people involved with the singer for the sole purpose of finding music and data on the computers. He then copied the music files to sell them for hundreds of dollars for each file.
The current sentence is more lenient to the earlier indictment, which was far more severe against Lederman. The original charges included dozens of counts of:
- Illegal wiretapping
- Copyright violations
- Invasion of privacy
- Illegal computer hacking
- Obstruction of Justice
“The punishment in such violations should have been much more severe,” said Senior Deputy State Attorney Steve Buaron in court. He added, “In this case, there were a number of circumstances that led to a lenient arrangement.”
Lederman was arrested back in January whilst initially being suspected of stealing work from multiple artists around the world. At the time, a private investigator attached to the case confirmed that Madonna was one among the many international artists targeted, according to a report in the BBC.
“I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy,” Madonna said at the time in a Facebook post.
She added that she was “profoundly grateful” to those who aided in tracking and arresting the hacker.