Bahamian man held for stealing movie and TV scripts denied bailMonday, January 11, 2016
NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — A Bahamian man who was arrested last month after he hacked into email accounts of celebrities to steal unreleased movie and television scripts, was denied bail when he appeared in court on Friday.
US District Judge Paul Engelmayer said Alonzo Knowles, a resident of Freeport, Grand Bahama, would be held without bail because he is a flight risk.
During the hearing, Knowles, 23, pleaded not guilty to charges that he violated copyright infringement and identity theft laws.
Knowles was arrested last month after meeting with an undercover federal agent in what prosecutors said was an effort to sell 15 movie and television scripts for US$80,000.
Defence attorney Clay Kaminsky said his client is entitled to bail in part because he would face less than three years in prison if convicted, however, prosecutors said it was more likely he would face five years or more.
Authorities say they began investigating Knowles last month after a popular radio host received an unsolicited offer from someone selling scripts for the next season of a popular TV drama.
The radio host contacted the show’s executive producer, who called Department of Homeland Security investigators.
According to court documents, Knowles — who called himself Jeff Moxey and claimed to have "exclusive content" worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — told investigators he had got into celebrities’ accounts by sending computer viruses or false warnings that accounts had been hacked and then used the information he got back to change the accounts’ settings so he could maintain ongoing access.