Computer Hacking ID Thief Gets 20-Year Prison Term

A federal court in Boston has sentenced Albert Gonzalez, the Miami computer hacker behind millions of dollars in credit card theft from national retailers like TJ Maxx, BJs, Barnes & Noble and more, to 20 years in prison for his crimes.

Even though Gonzalez had pled guilty in court, prosecutors still asked the court to impose the maximum sentence under the plea agreement of 25 years behind bars.

Ultimately, the judge decided on the 20-year term because of the brazen nature of Gonzalez’s crimes, especially since he’d committed the thefts while working for the Secret Service.

“There is this macho, almost glee about how you could beat the system,” said the judge about the defendant’s tendency to boast about his exploits to friends.

Before being sentenced, Gonzalez appealed to the judge for mercy and apologized in court to his family.

I’m guilty not only of exploiting computer networks, but personal relationships… I plead for leniency so that I can one day prove to [my family] that I love them, just as they love me.

Gonzalez faces more jail time when he’s sentenced in a US District Court today for his part in heisting $130 million in credit card numbers from Heartland Payment Systems.

He faces between 17-25 years in prison for those charges, though it’s being reported that he’ll likely serve this sentence concurrently with the existing 20-year sentence.

Computer hacker gets 20-year term [Boston Globe]