Knowles, 23, is from the Bahamas. He was lured to the US by federal agents claiming interest in his stolen goods, specifically movie scripts and 6 episodes of a TV series. Knowles wanted $80,000 for the intellectual property. Instead he was charged by federal prosecutors and faces prison for copyright infringement and identity theft.
From the Feds
"This case has all of the elements of the kind of blockbuster script the defendant, Alonzo Knowles, is alleged to have stolen: hacks into celebrities' private e-mails, identity theft, and attempts to sell victims' information to the highest bidder," said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office is prosecuting the case. "Unfortunately, these circumstances are all too real."
Reportedly Knowles told undercover agents that he has exclusive content that was "really profitable" and "worth hundreds of thousands of dollars." According to the criminal complaint, he told an undercover agent he acquired the content from public figures without their knowledge, revealing a list of 130 e-mail addresses and phone numbers of famous figures in his possession.
But the court documents do not reveal what Knowles stole precisely, or who his victims were. Instead they are referred to as "Victim-1" or "TV Series-1." Knowles apparently used two different methods to obtain personally identifiable information, a virus and a false e-mail notification.
Kid's Got Moxie
Knowles tried to sell a movie script to a radio show host early in December. He did not use his real name when exchanging with potential buyers and went by the name Joe Moxey, according to the criminal complaint.
Perhaps the young Knowles was unconsciously signaling, calling for help, or looking to get caught on some level. Certainly, it took Moxie to try to sell 15 movies that Knowles did not himself write and it will take much more of it to get through his criminal case.
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