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'Impassioned collector' jailed for hacking Madonna album

Posted On: Jul. 9, 2015 12:00 AM CST

An Israeli man has been sentenced to 14 months in jail for hacking and leaking songs from Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” album before it was released, according to media reports.

Adi Lederman, a former contestant on Israel’s version of “American Idol,” reportedly stole the demo versions of the Material Girl’s unfinished album in December by hacking into private cloud and email accounts of her associates, reports said.

He then sold those demos to two buyers for $300 each, according to Reuters.

Mr. Lederman, 39, was first arrested in Tel Aviv, Israel, in January following an investigation supported by the FBI, and indicted in February on charges of computer trespassing, prohibited secret monitoring, copyright infringement and obstructing an investigation.

After accepting a plea bargain at Tel Aviv’s Magistrate’s Court, Mr. Lederman confessed to computer trespassing and infringement of privacy and property rights and was fined 15,000 shekels, or about $14,000, in addition to his jail time, according to Reuters.

His lawyer argued that Mr. Lederman was “not someone with a criminal mentality, but rather, a very fired-up and impassioned collector who went too far,” Reuters said. The lawyer also said Mr. Lederman had health problems, though he declined to elaborate for the court, Reuters said.

“I am profoundly grateful to the FBI, the Israeli police investigators and anyone else who helped lead to the arrest of this hacker,” Madonna said in a Facebook post in January. “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.”

Because of the leak, Madonna released six songs from “Rebel Heart” on iTunes in December, according to reports. The full album was released March 6.