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Man Pleads Guilty To Looking At Passport Files

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(Credit: AP)

(Credit: AP)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has now netted a dozen convictions of State Department workers who looked at confidential passport records of celebrities in violation of privacy laws.

Former State Department contractor Mark Carter of Upper Marlboro, Md., became the latest when he pleaded guilty Wednesday to unauthorized computer access.

The investigation began in 2008 after officials discovered access of files containing photos and personal information for then-presidential candidates Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Federal agents found the unauthorized access extended well beyond politics. For example, Carter admitted he looked at the files for celebrities, musicians, actors, business leaders, a professional athlete, his colleagues and family members.

He could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine at sentencing Aug. 5.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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