Hacker Who Stole and Sold Lil Uzi Vert Songs Sentenced to Prison
A hacker caught stealing and selling unreleased music from Lil Uzi Vert and other artists is going to prison.
On Friday (Oct. 21), City of London Police released a statement announcing that 22-year-old Adrian Kwiatkowski, who goes by the hacker alias Spirdark, will spend 18 months in prison for stealing songs from artists' cloud-based accounts and then selling them for cryptocurrency. According to authorities, the hacker made $148,000 from his criminal transactions.
"Kwiatkowski was a highly skilled individual who unfortunately saw potential in using his abilities unlawfully," said Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt in the statement. "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."
The year-long investigation was a joint operation between the City of London Police's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), and launched by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in the U.S. in 2019. The DA linked the email address used to set up Spirdark’s cryptocurrency account to Kwiatkowski and identified the IP address of the device used to hack one of the accounts as his home address, before referring the investigation to PIPCU.
On Sept. 12, 2019, PIPCU officers arrested Kwiatkowski at his home. Investigators seized seven devices including a hard drive that contained 1,263 unreleased songs by 89 artists, including unreleased tracks by Lil Uzi Vert.
On Aug. 27, Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court to 14 copyright offenses, three counts of computer misuse and three offenses under the Proceeds of Crime Act. On Friday, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Ipswich Crown Court.
"Cybercrime knows no borders, and this individual executed a complex scheme to steal unreleased music in order to line his own pockets," said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L Bragg, Jr. in the statement.
XXL has reached out to Lil Uzi Vert's rep for comment.