By Kim Zetter
August 19, 2009
Accused TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez, who is set to go to trial next month
in New York, was close to reaching a comprehensive settlement with
federal prosecutors when new charges were levied against him this week
in New Jersey, according to his lawyer.
Rene Palomino, Jr., told the New York Times that he had been close to a
settlement that would have put an end to all active investigations
against his client, including the new New Jersey case. In exchange for a
guilty plea, Gonzalez was ready to agree to a prison sentence in the
20-year range, but the new indictment halted the negotiations.
"We are giving it our best shot trying to resolve these cases and to
prevent the government from wasting all these millions of dollars to
bring to trial all these cases," Palomino told the Times. "We were very
Palomino accused New Jersey prosecutors of showmanship and said they
moved up the timing of the indictment announcement in order to
short-circuit the plea talks.
"I guess so they could bask in the glory of all the publicity they are
getting from this," he said.
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