Longueuil (December 13, 2019) – Longueuil police arrested Pascal Desgagnés on December 11 for allegedly hacking into several celebrities’ cellphones. The Quebec City man is accused of targeting sports stars and celebrities from the US and Canada at random. Police report that a lot of data was stolen. Nevertheless, Desgagnés apparently only used it for personal purposes. He is facing charges of identity theft, identity fraud, unlawful use of a computer, fraudulent use of a password, and mischief with respect to computer data.
As a result of an 18 months investigation, Longueuil police announced in a social media post that they have arrested the alleged Quebec celebrities’ phone hacker on December 11. The SPAL (Service de Police de l’Agglomération de Longueuil) started their investigation after one of his victims filed a complaint in May 2018.
The alleged Quebec celebrities phone hacker
In the wake of their inquiry, authorities identified Pascal Desgagnés as the suspect in connection with the phone hacks. The police believe that the Quebec City man is responsible for multiple incidents regarding hacking attacks targeting phones of sports stars and celebrities at random.
The police identified several victims in the US and Canada. However, they did not find a connection between the 45-year-old Desgagnés and his targets. The Journal de Montreal reported that he hacked several NHL professionals including players of the Montreal Canadiens as well as the Quebec radio and TV personality Veronique Cloutier.
Hacked data apparently only used for personal purposes
Although a lot of data as been stolen in the attacks, the obtained text messages and pictures were apparently only used for personal purposes to date, the police reported. Thus, Desgagnés motive is not yet known. Nevertheless, police believe that he acted alone.
During the investigation, they searched his home and various computer devices. Furthermore, the SPAL worked in collaboration with the Sûreté du Québec and applied multiple specialized investigation techniques. However, the police did not clarify how Desgagnés gained access to the cellphones.
Desgagnés does not have any prior convictions. In connection with the celebrity phone hacking attacks, the police charged him with identity theft, identity fraud, unlawful use of a computer, fraudulent use of a password, and mischief with respect to computer data.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.