Romania’s highest court has approved the temporary extradition of a convicted hacker accused of breaking into the email and social media accounts of a Bush family member and U.S. government officials.
The court ruled Friday that Romanian national Marcel Lehel Lazăr will be extradited to the U.S. for a maximum of 18 months to face charges brought against him there.
Lazăr was indicted in June 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accused of hacking into the email and social media accounts of high-profile victims including a family member of two former U.S. presidents, a former U.S. Cabinet member, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a former presidential adviser.
According to the indictment, Lazăr used the online aliases Guccifer and Micul Fum — Little Fume in English. He faces charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a computer system, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice.
While the indictment doesn’t name the victims, Guccifer is known to have passed documents, pictures and information to the media that were stolen from the email accounts of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and several members and friends of the Bush family, including Dorothy Bush Koch, daughter of 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush and sister of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush.
Lazăr was arrested in Romania in January 2014 for hacking into the personal email accounts of local public figures, including the former head of the Romanian Intelligence Service George Maior. In June that year he was sentenced to four years in prison for those offenses.
At the time the hacker was already on a six-year supervised release after receiving a three-year suspended prison sentence in 2012 for hacking into the email accounts of other Romanian celebrities.