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Maryland man pleads guilty in Chicago federal hacking case

CHICAGO – A Maryland man has pleaded guilty in Chicago federal court to run a hacker-for-hire service that shut down websites and affected people all over the world.

Twenty-year-old Zachary Buchta of Fallston, Maryland, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to damage protected computers. Buchta admitted in a plea agreement that he was one of the founders of the two hacker groups that a fee of $ 20 cost to target anyone for online harassment.

Buchta was arrested in October 2016. He has agreed as part of his plea deal to pay $ 350,000 in restitution to the two online gaming companies that were victims.

The charge can carry a prison sentence of up to ten years in prison. Prosecutors say they will recommend a 2½ year sentence as Buchta continues to cooperate fully in the investigation.

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