Fla. man charged in hacking case ordered to LA

October 14, 2011 - 3:45 PM
Hollywood Hacking

FILE - In this Feb.27,2011 file photo Actress Scarlett Johansson arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. The FBI says it’s made an arrest and federal charges have been filed in a probe of e-mail hacking that targeted Hollywood entertainment figures. The FBI previously has said the investigation involved dozens of celebrities, reportedly including actress Scarlett Johansson whose personal information was stolen from email and other computer accounts. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man charged with hacking into email accounts of celebrities including actress Scarlett Johansson was ordered Friday to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Nov. 1.

A federal magistrate judge in Jacksonville, Fla., issued the order at a hearing for Christopher Chaney, 35. Chaney faces a 26-count indictment in California including charges of identity theft, unauthorized computer access and wiretapping.

Chaney has not yet entered a plea, but his attorney told The Associated Press on Friday that he was remorseful about what happened. Authorities say there were more than 50 victims, including actresses Mila Kunis and Renee Olstead and singer Christina Aguilera.

"At this point, he is extremely remorseful and sympathetic to the plight of the stars," said attorney Christopher Chestnut. "He is sorry that all of this is happening."

Chestnut said he wanted Chaney to undergo a psychological evaluation but he said he wouldn't comment at this point if Chaney's psychological condition will play a role in his defense.

"Some of the facts vary," Chestnut said. "We have to get in and see what all the facts are. We can't really speak to all the facts since we don't know them. It's very early in the case."

Chaney is free on $10,000 bail. He has been ordered to stay away from computers and the Internet. Chaney also must live with his parents until the case is resolved.

Chestnut described his client as a "quiet guy, a shy guy," who did clerical work in Jacksonville.

"This isn't a guy that Bill Gates would hire or that Google would recruit out to Silicon Valley," he said. "He's not an extremely sophisticated computer whiz."