Monday, August 31, 2009

Albert Gonzalez' Attorney Says His Client 'Not Ringleader'

A Reuters newswire article by Ross Kerber, via MSNBC, reports that:

An attorney for the hacker whom U.S. authorities painted as an organizer of one of the largest payment-card thefts ever said his client was no ringleader.

"He wasn't directing traffic or anything," attorney Rene Palomino told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday.

Albert Gonzalez, a 28-year-old from Miami, last week agreed to plead guilty to charges in Boston that he helped engineer the theft of more than 40 million card numbers from retailers like TJX Cos. and BJ's Wholesale Club.

Earlier this month in New Jersey, the U.S. Justice Department also charged Gonzalez and two others with conspiring to steal another 130 million payment card numbers, the most ever.

Both cases put Gonzalez at the center of the action — especially bold conduct since authorities say he was a Secret Service informant earlier this decade.

Palomino also described his client as a less-important figure than the Boston case made out, saying he was one of 11 co-conspirators worldwide, some still at large. "Did he have knowledge? Yes. But others were also involved," Palomino said.

More here.


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