Card Hacker Draws 20 Year Sentence

A judge on Thursday sentenced a hacker who stole more than 40 million debit and credit card numbers to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Albert Gonzalez, 28, had previously pled guilty to breaking into accounts held by customers of Barnes & Noble, OfficeMax, BJs Wholesale Club, TJX, and other retailers. Prosecutors said the hacks resulted in more than $200 million in losses and damages.

In sentencing Gonzalez, Judge Patti Saris, of U.S. federal court in Boston, chastised the hacker for taking pride in his crimes.

“There is this macho, almost glee about how you could beat the system,” Saris said, according to newspaper accounts of the hearing.

Gonzalez blamed his crimes on alcoholism, drug abuse, Asperger’s disorder, and an “addiction” to computers. “I stand before you humbled by the past 22 months sober,” Gonzalez told the judge.

By Paul McDougall
March 26, 2010 08:49 AM

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