A man who hacked Bella Thorne’s phone and Snapchat has pleaded with a US judge not to put him behind bars.
British hacker Joseph O’Connor – who was behind cyber attacks on several celebrities – also admitted to masterminding the theft of thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency.
While he awaits sentencing, the 24-year-old has written to the judge pleading to avoid jail as he now ‘understands’ the seriousness of his crimes.
The tech devil has also admitted to using his computer skills to harass a 16-year-old girl – making fake calls to the local police department under her name.
He was arrested in southern Spain for hacking the Twitter accounts of more than 130 people, including Kayne West, Joe Biden and Elon Musk.
In a letter to Judge Jed Rakoff, the hacker explained that online gaming had made him ‘a self-indulgent, impulsive idiot’ and led ‘a lonely, reclusive life for many years’.
“I became fat from unhealthy processed unhealthy foods. I suffered a back injury from sitting in a chair for 18 hours a day. He added, “I never exercised.” “If I open the curtains my eyes won’t be able to stand the sunlight.”
He said spending seven weeks in jail in New York had been ‘hell’ and he now wanted to ‘live a productive life’.
Prosecutors claim he first gained access to Thorne’s phone and Snapchat account in 2019, after the hacker shared various nude photos he found with her ‘colleagues’.
He also allegedly used the social media app to promote his accounts, and told users he would share photos of the Disney star if 5,000 people followed him.
Prosecutors say one of O’Connor’s associates sent the message to Thorne, instructing her to put up a message promoting O’Connor’s as well as other social media accounts. She was told that if she did not comply, the photos would be released and ‘the entire internet would see your private indecency.’
In response, Thorne posted the photos herself and told the aide: “F*** you and the power you think you have over me…the FBI will be at your house soon.”
O’Connor was later arrested after four months of surveillance at the flat, subsequently spending time in Málaga prison.
In April, he was extradited to the US, where he pleaded guilty to seven charges related to cybercrime and conspiring with others to steal approximately $800,000 of cryptocurrency from a tech company in New York.
Prosecutors are asking for seven years in prison at his sentencing on Friday (June 23).
Thorne had previously thanked the FBI on social media, writing: “I want to thank the FBI for their tireless pursuit of the man who made my life and the lives of others hell.”
(Tags to translate)US News(T)Bella Thorne(T)Celebrities(T)Entertainment(T)Film & TV(T)Crime(T)True Crime(T)Technology(T)Cryptocurrency