Israeli man jailed for hacking Madonna’s album

Adi Lederman is given 14 months in prison and a £2,600 fine for his cyber crimes

An Israeli man has been jailed for hacking into Madonna and her collaborators’ email accounts and selling the singer’s unreleased music.

Adi Lederman, a 39-year-old aspiring singer, was arrested in January on suspicion of stealing and selling unreleased songs from Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ album. After he confessed to the crimes under a plea bargain, earlier today (July 9) an Israeli court handed him a 14-month jail sentence and a fine of 15,000 shekels (around £2,600).

As it sentenced Lederman, who once competed on Israel’s leading X Factor-style TV singing contest, the court explained that it wanted to send out a message to people who could be planning similar crimes. “The ease with which crimes such as this can be committed by those who have skills in the field, such as the accused, require an appropriate punitive response that has a deterrent and uncompromising message,” the court said.

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Reuters reports that although the court identified Madonna as one of Lederman’s hacking victims, it did not specify that he was definitely responsible for the much-publicised leak of demos intended for her ‘Rebel Heart’ album last December. The leak, which Madonna branded “artistic rape” and “a form of terrorism”, led to the rush-release of six songs from the album on iTunes days later. The full album then came out in March.

Lederman’s arrest in January was made following a month-long investigation by the cyber crime unit of Israel’s Lahav 433 branch – an organisation comparable to the FBI – and a private investigation firm. Following the arrest, Madonna thanked those responsible for finding the suspect, saying: “I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy.”

Meanwhile, Madonna recently posted a clip of herself on Instagram playing the instantly-recognisable riff from Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’. Fans have since speculated that the singer could be planning to perform the Zeppelin classic during her forthcoming Rebel Heart Tour, which begins in North America in September.