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A man accused of hacking into the email accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis and other celebrities was ordered behind bars after pleading guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom. Antonio Castelan reports.
A man accused of hacking into the email accounts of Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis and other celebrities was ordered into custody Monday immediately after he pleaded guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom.
Christopher Chaney, a 35-year-old from Jacksonville, Fla., pleaded guilty to charges stemming from "Operation Hackerazzi" -- an investigation into hacked email accounts belonging to people in the entertainment industry. The guilty plea was expected, but it was not clear until after the plea whether Chaney would be ordered directly into custody.
Chaney, arrested in October, had been free on bond.
Sentencing was scheduled for July 23. Chaney faces up to 60 years in prison, fines and restitution of about $2.5 million.
Johansson, Aguilera and Kunis -- who agreed to have their identities made public after the indictment was announced in October -- actress Renee Olstead and celebrity stylist Simone Harouche were among those named in court records. Chaney used his home computers to take control of the celebrities' email accounts and set up a system by which he was able to receive their messages, according to prosecutors.
Among the files obtained by Chaney were nude photos of Johansson. The actress told Vanity Fair the images were taken for her now ex-husband, actor Ryan Reynolds.
Chaney forwarded many of the photographs to two gossip websites and another hacker, but there wasn't any evidence that he profited from his scheme, authorities said. He has since apologized.
In ordering Chaney into custody, Judge S. James Otero said he continued to hack into celebrity email accounts even after he was interviewed by FBI agents.
"I don't understand why any person who is rational would continue in that kind of behavior,'' Otero said.