A US citizen who pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit computer fraud and identity theft has been sentenced to one year's imprisonment by a Florida court.

Justin A Perras was one of five co-defendants who admitted hacking into computers at information management provider LexisNexis.

He was sentenced to one year in prison, followed by three years supervised release and 100 hours of community service.

The fraudsters infected and hijacked the organisation’s computers and employed social engineering techniques to access information, including login usernames and passwords, stored in the company’s Accurint database, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement and other agencies use the database to obtain data on individuals.

The other defendants were sentenced in December for their roles in the plot and between them must pay LexisNexis $105,750 (£55,000) in compensation.

All five offenders have now been banned from using computers in the future, according to court reports.

The authorities began to investigate the case after receiving a complaint from Seisint, the company which owns Accurint.

“Due to the company’s prompt reporting of these computer intrusions, the US Secret Service was able to terminate the defendants’ access to the system and to identify and prosecute the culprits,” the US government said in a statement.

“The US authorities must be congratulated for another big computer hacking arrest, which will hopefully deter others from following in the footsteps of Perras, who’s going nowhere fast for the next few years,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

However, he added: “It’s likely that with Accurint, the fact that it was used by law enforcement agencies gave the US secret service an extra spring in its step in tracking down the perpetrators.”