A man who admits he hacked into celebrities’ phones â and then bragged about a plan to write a tell-all book â is refusing to turn over a laptop that contains evidence, prosecutors charged on the eve of his sentencing.
Alonzo Knowles, a Bahamaian national, pleaded guilty to identity theft and copyright infringement for stealing sexually explicit photos and videos, personal information and unreleased scripts from unnamed entertainment and sports figures.
The charges carry up to 10 years in prison, but a probation report recommended he get just 24 months when he’s sentenced Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan Federal Court.
Prosecutors want the judge to throw the book at Knowles, claiming he’s still looking to make money off his crime.
In a sentencing memo filed Monday, they said that Knowles had a document on his laptop that contained the phone numbers and email addresses of at least 130 celebrities but has not forfeited the computer.
“Knowles’ refusal to forfeit his computer demonstrates his failure to accept responsibility for the criminal conduct to which he has pled guilty,” prosecutors wrote.
Previously, prosecutors said Knowles deserved a harsher sentence because he detailed a plan to write a book in emails to women from prison.
“Im name dropping everyone involved and what I know and im including pictures of paperwork that aint public,” he wrote in one email, according to the government. “This gonna be the most talked about thing on tv and im gonna hack people twitter to promote it lol lol…”
He told one of the women why he didn’t want to turn over the computer, even if it meant more prison time.
“I wanna cooperate and give these people my computer but I think its worth risking the extra year not doing it,” he wrote. “These people don’t want me to be a millionaire.”
In a response, Knowles’ lawyer claimed the boasts were only “escapist fantasies of an impecunious young man sitting in a foreign jail.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Knowles has the means or intention to act on his big-talk and at least one message the government quotes is clearly a joke,” the attorney wrote.