A prominent Romanian hacker has been extradited to the United States. The notorious Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, is expected to stay in the country for 18 months. According to an intelligence source who spoke with Fox News, the decision to get Guccifer to the states may have less to do with the charges he faces, however.
The source states that the extradition is “no coincidence” and that Guccifer could allegedly aid authorities in their investigation of Hillary Clinton‘s email controversy, in which the hacker’s exploits reportedly played a pivotal role.
One of Guccifer’s first big grabs entered the public conscience in 2013 through a series of humiliating email leaks sent to media outlets around the world. Guccifer compiled and sent messages exchanged between Clinton and confidant Sidney Blumenthal concerning another controversy the former secretary of state faced: the incident in Benghazi.
The leaked correspondences brought attention to the fact that Clinton was reportedly using a private email address for confidential matters.
Former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko appears to corroborate the rumor that Guccifer’s extradition went beyond his criminal charges, stating that the timing “seems to be something beyond curious.”
According to a Pando reporter who’s been in contact with Lazar since profiling him in March of last year, the former cab driver was reportedly hoping to work with U.S. authorities, given the information he was now privy to.
Reporter Matei Rosca claims that Lazar has no formal programming training and had been guessing passwords by way of biographical information gleaned from reading memoirs penned by officials. “He said he was expecting to collaborate with U.S. security services when the time is right. Presumably that would be now,” Rosca told Fox News.
The 42-year-old was at the start of serving a seven-year sentence in Romania when he was extradited. Many of Lazar’s hacker offenses include infiltrating email accounts from prominent government officials in the United States.
You may recognize Guccifer as the hacker who first unearthed George W. Bush’s love of painting by hacking Bush family email accounts. It was charges tied to this hack as well as many others that landed Lazar in jail in his home country.
Lazar’s first day in court on American soil was on Friday, April 1, in Alexandria, Virginia. He was initially indicted by a grand jury in July 2015. The hacker now faces three counts of gaining unauthorized access to protected computers and three counts of wire fraud, as well as one count each of cyberstalking, identity theft, and obstruction of justice. His charges carry sentences ranging from five years to 20 years.
It’s unclear when, exactly, Lazar is expected to return to court. As of this writing, FBI officials reportedly have no comment on the circumstances surrounding Lazar’s extradition and whether the hacker will play any role in the investigation into Clinton’s private email server.