Florida man pleads guilty in attempted hacking of Clinton Foundation

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By Nate Raymond and Nathan Layne | NEW YORK

NEW YORK A Florida man pleaded guilty in a case
stemming from an attempted hacking of the Clinton Foundation on
Thursday, months after he was sentenced to 42 years in prison in
the wake of child pornography discovered on his computers during
the probe.

Timothy Sedlak, 43, pleaded guilty in federal court in
Manhattan to attempting to access protected computers without
authorization. Prosecutors accused him of trying to gain access
to an unnamed New York-based charitable organization’s network.

“I knew that what I was doing was wrong,” Sedlak said in

Neither prosecutors nor Sedlak named the organization from
which he tried to get access to emails.

In a court filing obtained by Reuters that summarized a U.S.
Secret Service interview in 2015 with Sedlak, an agent said he
was questioned about notes they found referencing former
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her
daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

Sedlak, who called himself a private investigator, told the
agents he was researching whether charities were unintentionally
providing funding to Islamic militant groups, and said the
Clintons “came up in his research,” the filing said.

The filing’s description of the Clintons matched
prosecutors’ descriptions of two previously unnamed individuals
who were said to be executives at the charity and an “individual
who has been publicly affiliated” with it.

Chelsea Clinton is the vice chair of the foundation, which
was started by her father, former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Its full name is the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

The filing was downloaded by Reuters on Feb. 3. It was later
replaced by a redacted version removing the Clintons’ names.

Clinton Foundation representatives did not respond to
requests for comment.

The investigation into Sedlak, of Ocoee, Florida, predated
probes into cyber attacks on Democrats during the 2016
presidential election.

U.S. intelligence agencies in January released an assessment
indicating that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered cyber attacks to help Republican Donald Trump’s electoral
chances by discrediting Clinton.

Sedlak launched about 390,000 unsuccessful attempts to gain
unauthorized access to the charitable organization’s computer
network, according to prosecutors.

Following his arrest in 2015, authorities discovered files
on his computers containing child pornography, including images
depicting Sedlak sexually abusing a toddler, prosecutors said.

Sedlak was separately charged in Florida, where a federal
jury in Orlando in May found him guilty of charges he produced
and possessed child pornography. He was sentenced in August to
42 years in prison.

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