Marcel Lehel Lazar, 44, of Arad, Romania, a hacker who used the online moniker ‘Guccifer,’ has pleaded guilty to unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft, according to a statement released by the Department of Justice.

Mr. Lazar will be punished for violating the personal privacy of dozens of Americans

“Cybercriminals like Marcel Lazar believe they can act with impunity from safe havens abroad, but the Justice Department’s partnerships with law enforcement agencies around the world ensure that they can be brought to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. “Mr. Lazar will be punished for violating the personal privacy of dozens of Americans,” said U.S. Attorney Boente.

Mr. Lazar pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge James Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia, who set sentencing for Sept. 1, 2016.

In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Mr. Lazar admitted that from at least October 2012 to January 2014, he intentionally gained unauthorized access to personal email and social media accounts belonging to approximately 100 Americans, and he did so to unlawfully obtain his victims’ personal information and email correspondence.  His victims included an immediate family member of two former U.S. presidents, a former member of the U.S. Cabinet, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former presidential advisor.  He also admitted that in many instances, he publicly released his victims’ private email correspondence, medical and financial information and personal photographs.

The FBI, Defense Security Service, DSS and the Secret Service investigated the case.  Senior Counsel Ryan Dickey and Peter Roman of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maya Song and Jay Prabhu of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

[Image courtesy: Department of Justice]