Adi Lederman, a former reality talent show star who appeared on “A Star Is Born”, an Israeli version of “American Idol, ” was jailed for 14 months and also fined 15, 000 shekels ($4, 000), on Thursday for hacking into a computer and stealing songs from Madonna’s latest album before it was released.
The 39 year old was arrested in January after an investigation in Israel which was assisted by the FBI. Unfinished tracks from Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” leaked online a month earlier.
Under a plea bargain in Tel Aviv Court, Adi Lederman confessed to computer trespassing and infringement of privacy and property rights in connection with the offences, committed last year.
According to court papers, Lederman “shared various files and music files copyrighted by Madonna Esther Louise Ciccone”. He hacked into email servers used by Madonna’s musical director Kevin Antunes, and her talent manager Guy Oseary and two other people. He then sold demo tracks from Madonna’s album “Rebel Heart” to two buyers at $300 each.
“The ease with which crimes such as this can be committed by those who have skills in the field, such as the accused, require an appropriate punitive response that has a deterrent and uncompromising message, ” the court said in a statement.
Arguing for leniency, Lederman’s lawyer told the court that his client was “not someone with a criminal mentality, but rather, a very fired-up and impassioned collector who went too far”. Lederman had health problems, said the lawyer, declining to detail these for the court record out of privacy concerns.