Between April 2013 and October 2014, George Garofano was busy doing anything he could to hack into people’s iCloud accounts. The hacker sent emails that appeared to be from Apple in order to retrieve people’s username and passwords, known as a phishing scam. This gave Garofano unprecedented access into the lives of many people, including celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, described the Daily Mail.
Armed with sensitive photos and videos, Garofano went on to post nude pics of celebrities on Reddit. As he faces something like 10 to 16 months in prison, the hacker and family are asking for a more lenient sentence. Garofano explained.
“I feel remorse for anyone that could have been affected by this on any scale, public or private. It is a part of my life that I will always regret, as it has never been a reflection of who I am as an individual.”
Garofano is 26-years-old now, and his lawyer Richard Lynch is trying to use his new maturity as a selling point for a lesser sentence.
“Of course, he was old enough to know better even back then, that the conduct he was engaging in was wrong. But he now stands before the Court having matured, accepting responsibility for his actions and not having been in trouble with the law since.”
The family is also claiming that Garofano has already suffered greatly from the scandal. His brother said that he’s in an “emotional prison,” while another said, “within hours [of his arrest] George’s scarlet letter was permanent.”
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Moreover, Garofano and his lawyer are maintaining the story that he was not the “mastermind” behind the hacking, but rather part of a bigger operation, reported Canoe.
Additionally, Lynch said that Garofano merely got caught up “with some more sophisticated types who turned out to be criminals,” said Connecticut Law Tribune.
If the hacker could have it his way, he’d only spend a short time in prison, followed by house arrest. For the time being, he’s out on $50,000 bond. While initially, reports showed that he might face a minimum sentence of five years, newer reports show the number has increased dramatically.
In addition to saying how sorry he is about what he did, Garofano emphasized that he had ruined the family name in the small town they live in.
George is only one of four hackers that have been charged by the FBI over the phishing scandal. Co-conspirators Edward Majerczyk was sentenced to nine months in prison. Ryan Collins was sentenced to 18 months in prison, according to Variety.