A man who pretended to be journalists to pull off an elaborate scheme targeting government officials in Pennsylvania will spend the next few years in prison.
Nikolaos Hatziefstathiou — aka “Nick The Hat” — was sentenced to two to four years in prison last week, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
As Knewz previously reported, the sentence comes after Hatziefstathiou’s conviction on various charges in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
In April 2019, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office received an email about a breaking investigation from Hatziefstathiou on his website, YC News. The next day the district attorney’s office received alleged emails from a “Good Morning America” producer and a New York Times reporter asking for comment on the story, according to Philly Voice.
In the emails, the sender claimed to have information on decades-long corruption in the county.
But officials confirmed that the “Good Morning America” producer and the Times reporter never sent the emails.
A month later, Hatziefstathiou published an article about a racist email from a person in the Delaware County Adult Probation Office, according to Phily Voice.
That article gained attention from local politicians who denounced the email, according to the Inquirer.
Investigators determined the email never actually came from inside the probation office, and instead, Hatziefstathiou created the email himself.
The email started as a legitimate one from Hatziefstathiou’s own probation officer sent to him at one point, but Hatziefstathiou used editing software to add the racist language, according to the Inquirer.