Christopher Chaney, 35, was arrested Wednesday and charged with 26 counts of computer hacking, aggravated identity theft and wiretapping. He faces a maximum penalty of 121 years in federal prison.
Calling the investigation “Operation Hackerazzi,” officials say Chaney hacked into the personal e-mail accounts of dozens of people in the entertainment industry. The indictment also lists Christina Aguilera and Mila Kunis.
“This [arrest] comes as a relief to the victims, many of whom suffered great distress,” Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s L.A. field office, said at a news conference.
Chaney allegedly obtained victims’ passwords and set their e-mail accounts to automatically forward to him, even if users reset their passwords, the charges state. This allegedly gave him access to financial information, movie scripts, photographs and private e-mails, as well as to contact lists to find other victims.
• Reporting by KEN LEE