By Antone Gonsalves
September 12, 2009
A hacker accused of stealing tens of millions of credit and debit card
numbers in one of the largest computer break-ins in U.S. history pleaded
guilty Friday to fraud, identity theft and other charges.
As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Albert Gonzalez,
28, of Miami, also agreed to forfeit more than $2.7 million, a Miami
condo, a 2006 BMW 330i, a Tiffany diamond ring and Rolex watches. He
faces up to 20 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 8
Gonzalez pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to 20 counts of
conspiracy, computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud and
aggravated identity theft. Nineteen of the charges were contained in an
indictment handed down in Massachusetts in August 2008, and one charge,
conspiracy to commit wire fraud, stemmed from a New York indictment
handed down in May 2008.
The Massachusetts charges stemmed from the hacks into numerous major
U.S. retailers, including TJX Companies, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax
(NYSE: OMX), Boston Market, Barnes & Noble and Sports Authority. In New
York, the charge was related to hacks into the Dave & Buster's
restaurant chain. More than 40 million credit and debit card numbers
were stolen from the retailers, according to federal prosecutors.
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