Fifth Man Convicted In Hacking Of Jennifer Lawrence & Other Celebrities' Accounts

Photo: Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock.
Update, March 2, 2019: Christopher Brannan, a former Virginia high school teacher, was sentenced to 34 months in prison on Friday for hacking into the accounts of celebrities and others in the so-called "Celebgate" scandal that Jennifer Lawrence was a victim of, Billboard reports.
Prosecutors alleged Brannan, 31, hacked and accessed email accounts by answering security questions with information gleaned from victims' Facebook accounts and by use of phishing emails.
Brannan said on Friday before being sentenced that he had an addiction to pornography and suffered from anxiety and depression.
He pleaded guilty in October to aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access to a protected computer, and is set to begin serving his sentence on April 1.
Brannan is the fifth man to be convicted for the hackings. In January 2017, Edward Majerczyk of Chicago, Illinois was sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay $5,700 for counseling services for an unnamed celebrity victim, the Chicago Tribune reports. Emilio Herrera of Chicago, who accessed the accounts but was not accused of leaking information, was sentenced to 16 months in March 2018. George Garofano of Connecticut was sentenced to eight months in prison in August 2018 after pleading guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, Mass Live reports, and in October 2016, Ryan Collins of Pennsylvania was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
This story was originally published on October 27, 2016.
36-year-old Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident Ryan Collins has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for hacking into the accounts of more than 600 people.
The nude photos Collins obtained of Jennifer Lawrence were most famously leaked online in 2014. Kate Upton, Gabrielle Union, Rihanna, and Avril Lavigne were also victims.
Collins admitted to obtaining the passwords of over 100 people through phishing techniques, The Guardian reports. He sent some of his victims emails claiming to represent Apple or Google. The hacks involved at least 50 iCloud accounts, as well as 72 Gmail accounts. Collins also obtained some photos by pretending they were for modeling assignments.
The case began in Los Angeles before being transferred to Pennsylvania. Collins could have gotten five years and a $250 fine but received a shorter sentence after pleading guilty, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Direct evidence of Collins leaking the photos he obtained hasn't been found, however.

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