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Alleged Celeb Phone-Hacker

Ex-Con Past Revealed

History of Scam Artistry

10/12/2011 3:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Christopher Chaney
The man arrested for allegedly hacking into celebrity phones is a convicted con artist ... who was once busted by the feds for running a scheme to steal people's life insurance money ... TMZ has learned.

According to court records, obtained by TMZ ... Christopher Howard Chaney plead guilty to mail fraud in federal court in Florida back in 1998 ... for stealing money from Prudential life insurance policy holders in a diabolical plan he executed with a friend back in 1997.

Court docs reveal ... Chaney had a pal who worked for Prudential, and that guy would identify Prudential Life Insurance customers who had names similar to Chaney's.

Chaney would then fill out paperwork, posing as his victims ... and took money out of their policies ... thousands of dollars at a time.

Chaney -- who was a teenager when he was involved in the scam -- was convicted ... and sentenced to 48 months probation and ordered to return the money he stole. 

Now, Chaney is back in the criminal system -- accused of hacking 50 people, mostly famous people, and leaking VERY private information to the web ... including nude photos of Scarlett Johansson, Vanessa Hudgens and more.

If convicted in the hacking case, Chaney could face 121 years in federal prison.

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52 COMMENTS

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1.

The Love Sponge    

First You Sissies

1022 days ago
2.

Liz    

First off, the photo illustration of the guy in the ski mask is hilarious. Secondly, while I don't condone what he did, the celebrities shouldn't take nude photos of themselves on their phones if they didn't want them to get out. I'd bet anything they had easy-to-guess passwords or access codes.

1022 days ago
3.

Kabala    

How does he type with winter gloves on?

1022 days ago
4.

NobodySpecial    

They let this idiot out on $10k bail ?

Is this the start of some new reality TV show ?

1022 days ago
5.

The Love Sponge    

Stick em up! I want your nude pics!

1022 days ago
6.

Tammy    

So, he was a s***bag even before he was an adult.

1022 days ago
7.

Ace    

We want hackers to expose nude pictures of celebrities!
Leave this guy alone!

1022 days ago
8.

amazon_woman    

THE MOST they should give him is 1 year with good behavior and probation. He was doing a good deed by giving the fans something to look at. :)

1022 days ago
9.

CLINT    

That ski-masked creep is without a doubt, none other than Rogue Warrior. At least that's what his mama told me.

1022 days ago
10.

Philbo    

121 Years? That's impossibly harsh. Murderers do less time than that.

1022 days ago
11.

The Real JJ    

Screw this bum, what is it with TMZ's pictures of hackers? Why would a hacker crouch down, wearing a ski mask and gloves while he's hacking??? What's he gonna do, leave fingerprints on his own laptop.

1022 days ago
12.

Muppet    

Why do the FEDS only care when it's celebrities that get hacked? People get hacked every day and report it and nothing gets done.

1022 days ago
13.

Adrian Sloan    

121 years for hacking cellphones!!!??? really!!??? OMG you have got to be kidding me! I mean, he must be punished, but that is way to extreme for hacking info, he did not hurt anybody (physically), he may have had stepped over the line but this is way too much. Give the man a year in jail or a year on probation and a hefty fine and be done with it.

1022 days ago
14.

janet    

Enough already. Michael Jackson has been getting his pharm drugs for over 25 years. Different Dr.s, under different names. Jackson was doing Propofol since the '80's. Michael Jackson referred to propofol as his 'milk'. Jackson knew all of his drugs and how to use them.

1022 days ago
15.

Hohan    

Lindsay runs people over, steals from the Christmas kettle and opens her driver's side door to the Porsche just as a dude on a bike rides past. She gets three days house arrest. This guy sends out a few pics of some boobs and risks 300 years in prison. The U.S. of America is so goofy

1022 days ago
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