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By Kim Zetter
December 18, 2009
Confessed hacker Albert Gonzalez's turn as a Secret Service informant
led him down a dark path of obsession, culminating in the largest
identity-theft spree in history.
Frances Gonzalez Lago, Gonzalez=E2=80=99s sister, wrote his sentencing judge
that her brother=E2=80=99s work as an informant for the agency between 2003 and
and 2008 seemed to act as a reward for his obsession with computers.
"All this seemed okay at the time, but psychologically it was feeding an
obsession that in the end would become my brother=E2=80=99s downfall," she told
The information appears in a 24-page sentencing memo originally filed
Tuesday by Gonzalez=E2=80=99s attorney, Martin Weinberg, before it was sealed,
along with several exhibits. The memo was unsealed on Friday, with
several pages redacted. Threat Level disclosed on Tuesday the
information that was revealed in the redacted pages.
Weinberg is appealing to the court to sentence the 28-year-old hacker to
15 years. Gonzalez has pleaded guilty to hacking into TJX, Dave &
Busters restaurant chain and numerous other businesses. He faces a
possible sentence of between 15 and 25 years under the terms of his plea
The sentencing memo depicts Gonzalez as an obsessive personality who
derived his sense of worth from his computer skills and couldn=E2=80=99t seem to
distinguish himself from his PC. When Gonzalez=E2=80=99s computer was infected
with a virus, Weinberg writes in the memo, he "referred to the event as
if it were he, himself, who had gotten the virus."
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