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Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, best known online by the handle Guccifer, has received a 52-month prison sentence after pleading guilty before U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia to unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft this past May.
The 44-year-old, who was extradited to the U.S. back in 2014, admitted to targeting the personal e-mail and social media accounts of around 100 Americans over a period of 14 months via hacking, fraud, identity theft and harassment.
According to the Department of Justice, most of his victims were high-profile targets including 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, just to name a few.
Prosecutors were seeking a maximum penalty of four-and-a-half years while Lazar's public defender, Shannon S. Quill, called for a sentence of three years. The Washington Post notes that Quill described Lazar's escapades as an "addiction" and argued that despite his brash online personality, the defendant was actually a devoted husband and father that was frustrated by his inability to find work in the computer industry.
Lazar has more to be concerned about than just his prison term in the U.S. Romania's Justice Ministry has apparently asked Judge Cacheris to send Lazar back to Romania so he can serve time there first.
Image courtesy Reuters