JERUSALEM (AP) — An aspiring singer who auditioned for Israel’s top TV song competition was sentenced Thursday to 14 months in prison after he was convicted of stealing and selling unreleased songs by international pop star Madonna.
Adi Lederman was arrested earlier this year and after confessing, reached a plea deal on charges that he hacked into the computers of people linked to Madonna and then stole and sold her songs.
Lederman, a Tel Aviv resident in his late 30s, was also fined 15,000 shekels, or about 3,900 dollars.
The court ruled that the “appropriate” sentence should serve as a deterrent for future hacking incidents.
Songs from Madonna’s latest album “Rebel Heart” were leaked online late last year. At the time, she urged her fans not to listen to the stolen copies that had surfaced, writing on Instagram: “I have been violated as a human and an artist.” She later released six songs, calling it an “early Christmas gift” for fans.
Madonna has long claimed a special bond with Israel. The diva has made personal pilgrimages to the country, she practices Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and she launched her 2012 “MDNA” tour in Israel.
The investigation into Lederman’s activities began after Madonna’s representative in Israel lodged a complaint. The investigation was coordinated with the FBI.
Lederman, a Tel Aviv resident, auditioned for the Israeli reality show “A Star is Born” in 2012.
When asked by one of the show’s judges what he does for a living, he responded: “Mainly wasting my life away, it seems, because I’m told that I should be on stage.” He sang Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry About a Thing.”
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