Unprecedented 25-Year Sentence Sought for TJX Hacker
Kevin Poulsen writes on Threat Level:
Computer hacker Albert Gonzalez deserves a quarter-century behind bars for leading a gang of cyberthieves who stole tens of millions of credit and debit card numbers from a transaction processor and several giant retail chains, federal prosecutors argued in a court filing Thursday night.More here.
“[T]he sentences would be the longest ever imposed in an identity theft case and among the longest imposed for a financial crime, which is appropriate because Gonzalez was at the center of the largest and most costly series of identity thefts in the nation’s history,” wrote Boston-based assistant U.S. attorney Stephen Heymann. “He knowingly victimized a group of people whose population exceeded that of many major cities and some states.”
The government also disputed a defense claim that Gonzalez suffers from Asperger’s disorder, a mild form of autism that was grounds for a slightly reduced sentence in a previous hacking prosecution.
Gonzalez, 28, is set for sentencing next week on three indictments covering virtually every headline-making bank-card theft in recent years, including intrusions at TJX, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Office Max, Hannaford Brothers, 7-Eleven, and Heartland Payment Systems, which alone exposed magstripe data on 130 million credit and debit cards. He performed the intrusions while an informant for the Secret Service.