George W. Bush painting hacker ‘Guccifer’ sentenced to 4 years

As if there was any other possible outcome.


Brendan O'Connor


Published Jun 10, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 4:10 am CDT

The Romanian hacker famous for releasing President George W. Bush’s artwork to the world was sentenced Friday to up to seven years in prison.

Marcel Lazar Lehel, better known as Guccifer, was arrested in January by Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) for having repeatedly breaking into the email accounts of a variety of high-profile individuals. In 2013, he hacked the the AOL accounts of President George H.W. Bush and other Bush family members, which contained a trove of family photos, including paintings of the younger President Bush’s post-White House artwork.

In addition to the Bush family, Guccifer accessed the accounts of U.S. intelligence officials, Watergate journalist Carl Berstein, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among many others.

Lehel, 42, plead guilty at the end of May to having hacked the accounts of several Romanian officials, including George Maior, head of the Romanian Intelligence Service, and Corina Cretu, a Romanian politician and member of the European Parliament.

Lehel is also the subject of an investigation here in the United States, though there has been no mention of extradition. 

Update: Original reports indicated that Lehel would receive four years. The total possible number is seven. This detail has been updated above.

H/T Guardian | Photo via Carlosar/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 3.0)

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*First Published: Jun 10, 2014, 11:02 am CDT