The prolific Romanian hacker, also known as “Guccifer”, who exposed the Hillary Clinton email scandal, was sentenced by a federal judge to 52 months in prison on Thursday.
The hacker’s real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar. He had breached the account of longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal in 2013 and posted Clinton’s email address online.
After the email was posted for the world to see, it further led to the identification of Clinton’s personal account and multiple servers, where classified government information were transmitted, along with personal communications and Clinton Foundation business. This is all enormously illegal and thus the scandal was born.
Lazar was sentenced in Alexandria, Virginia after being convicted back in May of 2016. In May, he pleaded guilty to two out of the nine-count indictment – one involving the breach of Powell’s personal account; the other involving the account of a former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The hearing lasted for over 30 minutes and the federal prosecutors said the hacker took responsibility for his actions but showed no remorse for accessing the private online accounts of at least 100 different people and broadcasting private information to the public.
Some of the victims of Guccifer included Dorothy Bush Koch, the sister of former President George W. Bush; former Secretary of State Colin Powell; and Blumenthal, among others. After breaching Powell’s account, Lazar said he identified Blumenthal in the contact list and successfully targeted him.
Court documents filed by the government say by “the defendant’s own estimate, his quote ‘success rate’ at gaining entry into private accounts was only 8-10 percent of his attempts.”
Lazar used a detailed color-coding system to show his success rate. According to an FBI redacted interview Lazar said, “From what I remember I was using red for accounts I hacked, orange for the ones I could hack, and green for the ones I tried to hack and was not able to.”
Lazar’s public defender, Shannon Quill, requested a fairer sentence of 36 months, arguing that he did not profit from the crimes. Quill even used his separation from his wife and children as a point of sadness for her client’s motives.
Quill also indicated that the Romanians want Guccifer back to finish his seven-year sentence there, which he’d been serving in his home country before his extradition to the U.S. That sentence is for the same crime.
She also requested for Lazar to be sent back in the coming weeks so that—combined with the sentence in the United States—Quill could serve “a total global sentence of 10 years.”
Both sides seemed to like this idea although nothing was confirmed. The judge and lawyers for both sides all noted that Lazar continued to cooperate with U.S. investigators and this may become a reality in the coming weeks.
The heavily redacted 2014 FBI interview also said Lazar claimed “since June the CIA knew where I lived, a fact I found out from the press, when the CIA chief paid visits to Romania and Russia, where he obtained my IP addresses.”
Lazar was extradited to the U.S. in late March after considerable time, effort, and expense by the U.S. government.
There were no mentions in court of Guccifer’s claims that he had successfully breached Clinton’s server many times.
Lazar told Fox News from the Alexandria jail earlier this year, “For me, it was easy … easy for me, for everybody.”
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