Court records link Scientology to convicted email hacker

Thomas C. Tobin reports:

Federal court documents made public this week have linked the Church of Scientology to a private investigator convicted of illegally culling personal information from dozens of email accounts.

The investigator, Eric Saldarriaga, 41, was sentenced Friday to three months in prison for conspiring to engage in computer hacking. He pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Scientology connection arose somewhat by accident after two men who have been targeted by the church’s private investigators figured out they both had been named as victims of Saldarriaga. They are former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, now a vocal critic of the church, and Tony Ortega, a journalist and blogger who has written about Scientology for two decades.

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