The email prankster who fooled Harvey Weinstein, members of Donald Trump's inner circle and even his son, some of the world's most powerful bankers and senior British politicians can be revealed as a British IT worker who lives in a modest semi-detached home.
DailyMailTV and MailOnline can name the internationally notorious 'Email Prankster' as James Linton, who lives with his girlfriend in Cheadle Hume, Greater Manchester.
He struck again this week, fooling Harvey Weinstein into replying to an email last weekend, just before the disgraced mogul was fired by his own company.
Then he convinced Weinstein's ex-attorney, Lisa Bloom, that he was actually Weinstein, prompting her to disclose that she quit representing him because of 'sexual assaults'.
Linton, 38, had already fooled a long list of those close to Trump, including Eric Trump, who thought he was Donald Trump Jr; Anthony 'The Mooch' Scaramucci, the White House's then communications director; and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary.
Scroll down for video
Hoaxer: The controversial email prankster who has fooled some of the world's most powerful people is today unmasked as James Linton, 38, pictured with girlfriend Charlotte Taylor, 29.
Fooled you both: Linton posed as Harvey Weinstein to snare his ex-attorney Lisa Bloom (right) – then posed as another ex-Weinstein adviser, Anita Dunn, to snare Weinstein himself. He said he was 'sick' in the email
Modest: Linton, who poses a security risk, duped the great and the good using an iPhone from the bedroom of the semi detached home, pictured, in Manchester he shares with his girlfriend.
Tweets: Linton, who uses the moniker sinon_reborn, last week boasted on social media about a prank in which he duped Jared Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell with one of his hoax emails.
Fake identities: James Linton posed from his British suburban home as Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump
Taken in: Anthony Scaramucci was still White House communications director when he was taken in – and current White House officials Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary, and Tom Bossert, Homeland Security adviser whose portfolio includes cyber-security were all fooled
Trump drama: Linton posed as White House director of communications Hope Hicks and he also targeted Lara Trump, Eric's wife, but unlike others she was not fooled and sent his email to 'the authorities'
He has posed as Donald Trump Jr; Jared Kushner; White House communications director Hope Hicks; Seamus Milne, British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's closest aide; and former British chancellor Alistair Darling to snare his targets.
Others who have fallen victim to the scams include three of Trump's attorneys, an official White House adviser on cyber-security, the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Barclays, the governor of the Bank of England, and the UK's home secretary Amber Rudd and shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott.
One of the few not to be fooled was Lara Trump, Eric's wife, who unlike many other targets responded by saying she had forward his email to 'the authorities'.
Shaven-headed Linton, who is covered in tattoos and revels in his growing notoriety on Twitter, tricked them all by setting up fake email accounts and guessing his victims' email addresses – then engaging them in conversation from someone they think they know.
He told a White House lawyer that he was Jared Kushner then 'confessed' to having Hillary Clinton-themed pornography, while he elicited from the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, a claim that his predecessor drank heavily before lunch.
His stunts were performed from his bedroom while he watched Netflix, he has boasted.
Linton's live-in girlfriend Lottie Taylor and a handful of close friends knew what he was up to.
He boasted of lying in bed with Lottie when he posed as Reince Priebus to snare The Mooch, who hit back with a series of sneering replies, including a veiled threat in which he said he should read Shakespeare — 'particularly Othello', a revenge play.
HE FOOLED THEM – SO WOULD HE FOOL YOU?
Linton's technique is remarkably simple.
He sets up free webmail accounts with addresses which include the name of the person he is posing as – not necessarily correctly spelled – and sometimes their organization.
Then he sets the name they show up in other inboxes are as the person he is posing as.
Here are some of the addresses which took in the world's most powerful people.
email@example.com (for Harvey Weinsten)
firstname.lastname@example.org (for Jared Kuhner)
email@example.com (for the president and COO of Goldman Sachs)
firstname.lastname@example.org (For Stephen Bannon)
email@example.com (for the chairman of Barclays)
Speaking to DailyMailTV, Linton said: 'I've tricked myself right to the heart of the White House with my emails.
'Anthony Scaramucci was my 'Hollywood' prank. He came into the White House all guns blazing, drunk on power and shooting his mouth off.
'He was going on about Reince Priebus [chief of staff] being "a f***ing paranoid schizophrenic” and that he isn't like Steve Bannon, [chief strategist] because “I’m not trying to suck my own c***. I didn't like him mocking mental health so I went for him.
'He said he's not trying to build his own brand… but he completely was, that's all he's done since he's left the White House.'
He went on: 'It's a bit worrying how easy it is to fool these people; Eric Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kushner's lawyer, all highly-paid, powerful people who let their guard down and divulge confidential information.
'Imagine if I had more sinister intentions. I'm not some hacker sat at his computer at night — I'm just a guy who found an email address online and thought I'd have a laugh.
'I targeted Weinstein because I wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes. Why did his lawyers drop him so swiftly? And was he was just going to throw money at the deluge of sex attack law suits coming his way?
'I didn't buy his claim that he was 'ill' – and I wanted to expose him as the morally corrupt sexual predator I think he is.
'The fact he asked which of the latest allegations do I feel will hit hardest, show how repugnant and drunk on the elixir of his own self importance he is.'
Linton quit his job of six years as a 'talented' digital designer at ad agency TBWA in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, before he was sacked after he was suspended because bosses suspected he was emailing victims at work.
He confessed to his thousands of Twitter followers that he was now jobless, saying: 'The pranks were a large reason for that.'
Since resigning last month, the joker, who has an inking of a lion on his right arm, has continued his hoax emails behind the shuttered windows of his home.
'You hardly ever see him, said a neighbour. 'He's always shut away inside, no one knows what he's up to. He keeps himself to himself.'
He fooled UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd by posing as PM Theresa May's spin doctor.
WHO HE POSED AS…
Anita Dunn, Weinstein's adviser
Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser
Reince Priebus, then White House chief of staff
Donald Trump Jr
Dan Scavino, White House social media coordinator
Hope Hicks, White House Communications Director Steve Bannon, former advisor to Trump
Ainsley Earhardt, Fox & Friends anchor
Harvey Schwartz, president, co-chief operating officer, Goldman Sachs
Michael O'Neill, chairman, Citigroup
John McFarlane, chairman, Barclays
Alistair Darling, director, Morgan Stanley (former UK chancellor)
Anthony Habgood, chairman of the court of the Bank of England
Seamus Milne, Labour Party director of communications
Robbie Gibb, Downing Street director of communications
AND WHO HE TOOK IN
Lisa Bloom, Weinstein's attorney
Tom Bossert, White House Homeland Security adviser
Abbe Lowell, Jared Kushner's lawyer in Russian 'collusion' probe
Jamie Gorelick, Kushner and Ivanka Trump's personal attorney
Anthony Scaramucci, then White House Communications Director
Jon Huntsman, Trump's ambassador to Russia
Michael Cohen, Trump attorney
Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary
Ty Cobb, White House lawyer for Trump in Russia 'collusion' probe
Alex Marlow, editor in chief of Brietbart, Bannon's news website
Brian Kilmeade, also Fox & Friends anchor
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
Michael Corbat, CEO, Citigroup
Jes Staley, CEO, Barclays
James Gorman, chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England
Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary
Amber Rudd, Home Secretary
Oops he did it again: Linton posed as Fox & Friends anchor Ainsley Earhardt – and snared her co-anchor Brian Kilmeade with a bogus message
Shaven-headed Linton, pictured with his sister, father and brother, dupes his victims by setting up fake email accounts, guessing their email addresses – then engaging them in conversation.
Prankster: Prolific hoaxer Linton, pictured, a web designer, who goes by the moniker sinon_reborn, has lured in Donald Trump's inner circle, including his son Eric and his son-in-law Jared Kushner's lawyer, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Bank of England chief Mark Carney.
Laughs: Linton, pictured with his family, set up a fake email pretending to be Reince Priebus when he duped Donald Trump's spin doctor Anthony Scaramucci, nicknamed The Mooch.
Asked what projects she was working on, Ms Rudd replied: 'Well, a few things on the agenda but getting tough on people impersonating others is definitely up there.'
He revealed: 'I managed to speak to the Home Secretary on her personal email address with ease. I replied saying: 'Don't you think you should be more aware of cyber security if you are home secretary?' and I never got a reply from that.'
Linton, who boasts he pranks as a hobby from the home he shares with Lottie, 29, and their three cats, fooled Eric Trump into believing he was his brother Donald Jr.
And he duped Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell with an hilarious exchange begging him to delete some 'adult content' that was on his private email account that suggested Kushner was in to lego porn.
'I'm so embarrassed,' the fake Kushner emailed the lawyer. 'It's fairly specialist stuff, half naked women on a trampoline, standing on lego scenes, the tag for the movie was #standingOnTheLittlePeople.'
Prankster posing as Kushner tricked Trump son-in-law's…
Share this article
Lowell then compounded his misery days later by sending Linton a genuine letter on email from the Senate Intelligence Committee demanding to know why Kushner had a private email account that he didn't tell the committee about during an interview with Senate staffers.
Linton's pseudonym sinon_reborn is after the spy Sinon who conned the Trojans into taking the wooden horse into Troy in Virgil's Aeneid. The impersonator says the ease in which he can converse with his targets raises security questions.
The emails that drew in the likes of Diane Abbott into revealing she has diabetes by posing as Labour's press chief Seumas Milne were started three years ago when he pranked a work colleague.
'I remember noticing one day that when you got an email, the email address didn't show by default,' Linton told Wired. 'You had a display name, and you could put any name you wanted in there.'
He decided to test the email setup. He sent a message to a close work colleague, taking on the persona of the chief executive and using an account with the right display name. The email asked the colleague to attend a meeting about an allegation of sexual harassment.
Prolific: Linton had already fooled a long list of those close to Trump, including Eric Trump, who thought he was Donald Trump Jr; Anthony 'The Mooch' Scaramucci, the White House's then communications director; and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary.
Following: Shaven-headed Linton, who is covered in tattoos, revels in his growing notoriety as the Email Prankster' on Twitter as he has a growing army of fans following his notorious pranks.
But Linton couldn't keep a straight face and when his colleague read the email and looked over to him, his laughter gave away the game.
His second one was more successful. Using the same address, he messaged a colleague, again as the company boss saying he'd been selected to represent the company at an international competition held in Israel. 'He completely fell for it,' Linton says.
But things almost went awry: the colleague then went up to the real CEO to shake his hand and thank him for selecting him. 'My heart was in my mouth,' recalled Linton.
He said he moved on to Barclays when the bank declined a loan of £500 when they looked through his statements and saw vast outflows of money to gambling sites.
Yet in the following weeks he was able to obtain loans of £15,000 through the bank's app and he felt annoyed that the bank has allowed him to build up such a large debt.
He widened the scope to other bankers, hitting the leaders of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, and Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England.
Then he targeted two of the UK's most senior politicians, emailing Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and her Labour opposite number Diane Abbott.
Abbott's response was the most politically explosive, revealing that she had Type 2 diabetes at a tense point in run-up to the general election.
But moving on to the Trump White House turned out to give Linton his richest harvest.
Posing as a series of senior figures, he has managed to fool Eric Trump into believing that he was his older brother Donald Jr, persuade Anthony Scaramucci that he was his bitter rival Reince Priebus, unleashing a torrent of abuse and got Tom Bossert, the Homeland Security advisor supposedly in charge of cybersecurity to hand over his personal email.
The worst gaffe of all as far as the White House was concerned was when Jared Kushner's lawyer, Lowell, forwarded the fake Jared a damning letter from the Senate Intelligence Committee to the real Jared.
It revealed that he had not come clean about a personal email address when he gave evidence.
The lawyer apparently simply used the autofill function and did not realize he had sent it to the fake Jared.
Linton's wealthy parents Nigel and Gillian Linton live in a comfortable detached house in Poynton, Cheshire, where their son regularly visits.
A source close to him said: 'They go on loads of holidays. His family are rich and own a couple of houses in Majorca and they go there a lot.'