Florida man accused of Clinton Foundation hack to plead guilty

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By Nate Raymond | NEW YORK

NEW YORK A Florida man accused of trying to hack
the Clinton Foundation in 2015 is expected to plead guilty on
Thursday, months after he was sentenced in a related case to 42
years in prison over child pornography discovered on his
computers during the probe.

Timothy Sedlak, 43, is scheduled to plead guilty in federal
court in Manhattan, according to court records. Prosecutors
accused him in September 2015 of trying to gain access to an
unnamed New York-based global charitable organization’s network.

Prosecutors have never named the organization. But a court
filing obtained by Reuters said U.S. Secret Service agents in
2015 questioned Sedlak 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 an “executive” at the charity and an “individual who has been publicly affiliated” with it.

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

The filing, a summary of a Secret Service agent’s interview
with Sedlak, was downloaded by Reuters on Feb. 3 and soon after
was replaced by a redacted version removing the Clintons’ names.

A spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and
Sedlak’s lawyer declined comment. 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
that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a covert effort
through the cyber attacks to help Republican Donald Trump’s
electoral chances by discrediting Clinton.

Prosecutors have said that Sedlak launched about 390,000
unsuccessful attempts to gain unauthorized access to the
charitable organization’s computer network.

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

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

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