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Computer hacker of famous musicians’ digital accounts is jailed

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A computer hacker who stole unreleased music from famous musicians and sold them on the dark web in exchange for cryptocurrency has today been imprisoned.

Adrian Kwiatkowski (DOB: 11/10/1999) offered to sell two unreleased songs by British pop star, Ed Sheeran and 12 unreleased songs by American musician Lil Uzi Vert on illegal web sites in exchange for bitcoin after hacking the performers’ digital accounts.  A search of the defendant’s Apple Mac laptop uncovered 565 audio files which including the songs by Vert and Sheeran.

Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty to three charges of unauthorised access to computer material, 14 charges of making for sale an article infringing copyright, one charge of converting criminal property and two charges of possession of criminal property. He also admitted receiving bitcoin cryptocurrency for the songs.  He was jailed for 18 months' imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court.

Joanne Jakymec of the CPS said: “Kwiatkowski had complete disregard for the musician’s creativity and hard work producing original songs and the subsequent loss of earnings. He selfishly stole their music to make money for himself by selling it on the dark web.

“We will be pursuing ill-gotten gains from these proceeds of crime.”

The CPS is committed to working with law enforcement agencies to stop activities of cyber criminals and bring them to justice.

Notes to editors

  • Joanne Jakymec is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Serious Economic Organised and International Directorate (SEOCID)
  • SEOCID was launched on 1 April 2022 and is the CPS’s response to the changing nature of crime by bringing together specialists in organised and economic crime as the lines in these areas of crime continue to become more blurred
  • Adrian Kwiatkowski (DOB: 11/10/1999) pleaded guilty to 19 counts of copyright infringement, unauthorised access to computers, and selling unauthorised music and was sentenced to 18 months' immediate custody at Ipswich Crown Court.

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