Photo: Getty
  /  10.22.2022

A U.K. hacker who stole unreleased music from Lil Uzi Vert, Frank Ocean, Post Malone, and others was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday (Oct. 21), according to The Associated Press.

Adrian Kwiatkowski’s sentencing came two years after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into music management companies’ claims of a hacker known as Spirdark stealing artists’ work from digital cloud platforms.

With the help of London Police, investigators could track the email and IP address that would lead them to Kwiatkowski. The 23-year-old was arrested in September 2019. This past August, he confessed to three charges of unauthorized access to computer material, 14 charges of selling copyrighted material, one charge of converting criminal property, and two charges of possessing criminal property.

Investigators said seven devices were seized from Kwiatkowski’s home, where he stored 1,263 unreleased and unfinished songs. They also uncovered that he traded at least 12 of Uzi’s songs for cryptocurrency. In an analysis of the 23-year-old’s bank accounts, investigators discovered he made upwards of $147,000 from the illegal sale of the music. 

“Kwiatkowski was a highly skilled individual who unfortunately saw potential in using his abilities unlawfully. Not only did he cause several artists and their production companies significant financial harm, he deprived them of the ability to release their own work,” London Police Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt said. He added, “Kwiatkowski will now face the consequences of his actions, and I hope this result will also make his customers refrain from purchasing illegal content again.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. said the case showed “cybercrime knows no borders, and this individual executed a complex scheme to steal unreleased music in order to line his own pockets. New York and London are cultural capitals of the world…we have sent a clear message that we have the ability and tools to stop this type of criminal activity and protect victims.”

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