Gonzalez sentenced for multimillion-dollar credit card scam

The judge imposes two 20-year concurrent sentences

Gonzalez forfeited more than $US1 million that can be used as restitution, however, "you're never possibly going to be paying all that I'm ordering," said Saris, who levied a $25,000 fine Thursday and deferred remaining issues of restitution until the June hearing. But the fact that he turned over the stashed money and that he seems remorseful were among the reasons she imposed sentences in the middle of the range, she said, adding that there were other factors she took into account that she could not disclose in the public sentencing hearing because that information is under court seal.

Judge Saris would like to see Gonzalez someday be released from prison and find work so that he can pay back some of what he stole from victims, she said. Along those lines, after he is released, he will be supervised by the court for three years, during which time he will not be allowed to use the Internet. His use of electronics will be monitored and he will have to undergo drug and alcohol testing. While the DOJ had suggested a prohibition on the use of all electronics, Judge Saris was skeptical of how that could be applied, particularly almost two decades from now. (Gonzalez will get credit for time served.) "By the time he gets out in 20 years, there may not be landlines," she said, recommending that mobile phones be excluded from the prohibition.

On the other hand, she also has seen hackers she's sentenced show back up in court after they've been released. "I do think there is a chance of recidivism here," she said, noting that such criminals often find the lure irresistible.

In fact, when he addressed the court, Gonzalez said that he was not motivated by greed or other foul intent, but by simple "curiosity" and "my addiction."

Federal prosecutors, however, painted a much different portrait of him. "Albert Gonzalez was motivated by ego, challenge and greed and was proud of the national attention his computer intrusions and data thefts drew," the DOJ said in its sentencing filing. "They drew that attention because they victimized more people than anyone had ever done before in this country, caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and shook the public's trust in the security of credit and debit card transactions at some of the country's largest institutions.

"Gonzalez already has been given a second chance. He used that second chance not to straighten out his life, but to provide cover as [he has] committed ever more brash and destructive crimes."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags USA governmentdata theftlegalscamsCredit card fraudhackerprisoncybercrime

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Weil

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?