Madonna Hacker Indicted in Israel
Adi Lederman is charged with computer trespassing, prohibited secret monitoring, copyright infringement and obstructing an investigation.
Five weeks after his arrest in Tel Aviv, 39-year-old Adi Lederman, who three years ago auditioned for Israel's then leading TV singing competition Kochav Nolad (A Star Is Born), has been officially charged by Israel's magistrate courts with four counts: computer trespassing, prohibited secret monitoring and additional computer trespassing, copyright Infringement and obstructing an investigation.
As detailed in court documents filed on Tuesday, Feb. 23, and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the first count relates directly to hacking into the private cloud accounts of Sara Zambrano, Angie Teo and Kevin Antunes — all "sharing various files and music files copyrighted by Madonna Esther Louise Ciccone" — and going through an office email account labeled "osearyoffice." The count also cites additional hacks into 15 other unspecified email accounts.
Interestingly, the third count of copyright infringement reveals that Lederman not only allegedly got hold of Madonna's Rebel Heart album demos last March, but also her previous studio album, MDNA. "During 2012, after trespassing Zambrano's cloud account as detailed in the first count, the defendant copied an early version of the song 'Give Me All Your Luvin' ' by Madonna for trading purposes and sold it soon after," according to the indictment papers.
They also revealed that the copies of song files, among them rehearsal audio for Madonna's 2015 Grammy performance, were sold for "tens of dollars to a thousand dollars and more" to various clients, including those identified in the papers as "Craig Lunti" and "Tom Hann."
The final count of obstructing an investigation goes on to claim that the defendant suggested there would be an investigation and ordered "Craig Lunti" to delete all their correspondence in the matter.
Lederman's Jan. 21 arrest followed a monthlong investigation by local private investigation firm Wizman Yaar and was ultimately led by the FBI and Israeli crime-fighting umbrella organization Lahav 433's cybercrime unit, going back to a complaint by Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, coincidentally Israeli-born. The leak prompted the release of six songs on iTunes back in December.
"I am profoundly grateful to the FBI, the Israeli police investigators and anyone else who helped lead to the arrest of this hacker," said Madonna shortly after the arrest. "I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy. This invasion into my life — creatively, professionally and personally — remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience, as it must be for all artists who are victims of this type of crime."
A trial date has not been announced, but the state attorney's office did request continuing detainment of the defendant, noting that his release might endanger public safety. In the original filing, the prosecution asked to "impose a custodial prison sentence if [the defendant] is found guilty." Legal experts in Israel offer that Lederman potentially faces up to five years behind bars.
Rebel Heart will be out March 6.