A hacker who was arrested last year for hacking into celebrity email accounts to steal unreleased movie scripts, private messages, and sex tapes to sell them has been sentenced five years in prison.

Alonzo Knowles, a 24-year-old Bahamian, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer in Manhattan on Tuesday.  Knowles, who curated a list of emails and phone numbers of 130 celebrities, plead guilty in May to charges of identity theft and copyright infringement.

The authorities arrested Knowles late December and found folders containing stolen data including:

  • Sex tapes of celebrities
  • Emails and phone numbers of at least 130 celebrities
  • Private, explicit images
  • Social Security numbers for actors and professional athletes
  • Scripts and contracts for unreleased TV shows and movies

The hacker was arrested after flying to New York from the Bahamas to sell 15 movie and TV shows scripts and the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of a movie actress and two athletes to an undercover U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent for $80,000.

The judge cited a book the hacker claimed he would someday write to “shake up Hollywood,” with plans to sell them at $35 per copy, in which Knowles said: “When I get out, I’m going to shake up Hollywood.”

The affected celebrities were not identified, though the judge acknowledged that the court received a statement from 20th Century Fox. However, Knowles apologized for his conduct on Tuesday, saying he regretted “the stupid things I did and said.”


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