Teen arrested for allegedly stealing songs from world-famous artists to sell for cryptocurrency

The 19-year-old allegedly stole unreleased music from the artists by hacking their websites and cloud-based accounts.

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A 19-year-old man in the U.K. was arrested Friday for allegedly hacking world-famous recording artists and stealing their unreleased songs and selling them in exchange for cryptocurrency, authorities in New York and London announced.

A statement from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said it began investigating the case after a tipoff from recording artists’ management companies about the alleged theft.

The teen who was arrested stole from the artists by hacking their websites and cloud-based accounts, the statement said. He was arrested on suspicion of copyright and computer misuse offenses.

Neither the suspect nor the recording artists who were targeted were identified.

The Manhattan District District Attorney's Office worked with City of London Police to arrest the alleged thief in Ipswich, England, and search a property there and one in North London.

"Today’s action marks a significant point in our investigation into the individuals responsible for stealing music and selling it on illegal streaming websites, worldwide," said a London police detective in a release. "This sort of crime causes significant financial loss to those who work so incredibly hard to produce, write and make music for their fans to love and enjoy."