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By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES, March 22 A Florida man accused of
hacking into the email accounts of film stars Scarlett
Johansson, Mila Kunis and other celebrities to access nude
photos and private information has agreed to plead guilty to
federal charges, U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday.
Christopher Chaney of Jacksonville, Florida, will plead
guilty on Monday to nine criminal counts, including unauthorized
access to a computer and wiretapping, according to a plea
agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison,
although federal sentencing guidelines often call for less time
Chaney was arrested in October after an 11-month
investigation dubbed "Operation Hackerazzi" by the FBI.
He was charged with 26 counts of cyber-related crimes for
hacking into the e-mails of Johansson, Kunis and pop star
Christina Aguilera. Other victims were identified only by their
initials: B.P., J.A., L.B. and L.S.
The photos of Johansson, 27, showed her topless and in a
towel with an exposed backside.
Johansson revealed in a Vanity Fair magazine interview they
were taken for her now former husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, when
they were still married.
Leaked photos of Kunis showed her in a tub filled with
bubbles, showing only her face.
In the plea agreement, prosecutors say that between November
of 2010 and October of 2011 Chaney hacked into the accounts of
more than 50 people in the entertainment industry.
He obtained private communications, photos, business
contracts, scripts and other information from his victims,
According to the plea agreement he forwarded some of the
private photos to another hacker and two gossip websites.
Chaney's defense attorneys could not be reached for comment
on Thursday evening.
The day after he was arrested, Chaney told a Jacksonville,
Florida TV station that he became addicted to prying into the
affairs of celebrities and apologized.
"I was almost relieved months ago when they (the FBI) came
and took my computer ... because I didn't know how to stop,"
Chaney told the TV station.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Will Dunham)