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Wednesday
Jan102018

Cyber veteran joins Special Counsel Mueller’s team

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A longtime federal prosecutor who specializes in cyber crimes and fraud has joined Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and alleged collusion between Trump associates and Russian operatives.

Ryan Dickey, who has worked for the Justice Department for several years, was added to the team in November, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr confirmed to ABC News. He recently served in the criminal division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

The move was first reported by The Washington Post. Dickey is now working with about two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staffers who comprise Mueller’s office.

It’s unclear exactly why Mueller wanted a prosecutor with Dickey’s experience in cyber-related crimes, but it’s not unusual in such a wide-ranging investigation.

In 2016, Dickey helped prosecute the Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer,” who pleaded guilty to hacking into the emails and social media accounts of numerous high-profile victims.

“Guccifer” previously made headlines when he told reporters he had hacked into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, but he later admitted to the FBI that he was lying.

His true victims, however, included former Secretary of State Colin Powell and family members of former President George W. Bush. According to prosecutors, Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, hacked into the computers and social media accounts of about 100 Americans and then publicly released some of the information, including private email correspondence, medical and financial information and personal photographs.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to 52 months in prison.

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