Convicted TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for leading a gang of cyberthieves who stole more than 90 million credit and debit card numbers from TJX and other retailers.
The sentence for the largest computer-crime case ever prosecuted is the lengthiest ever imposed in the United States for hacking or identity-theft. Gonzalez was also fined $25,000. Restitution, which will likely be in the tens of millions, was not decided Thursday.
Clean-cut, wearing a beige jail uniform and wireframe glasses, the 28-year-old Gonzalez sat motionless at his chair during Thursday’s proceedings, his hands folded in front of him.
Before the sentence was pronounced, Gonzalez told the court he deeply regrets his crimes, and is remorseful for having taken advantage of the personal relationships he’d forged. “Particularly one I had with a certain government agency … that gave me a second chance in life,” said the hacker, who had worked as a paid informant for the Secret Service. “I blame nobody but myself.”
“I violated the sanctity of my parents’ home by using it to stash illegal proceeds,” said Gonzalez. He asked for a lower sentence “so I can one day prove to [my family] that I love them as much as they love me.”
The hacker’s voice cracked and his gaze drifted to the floor as he finished his statement. His father, mother and sister sat in the front row of the gallery; Gonzalez’s father’s eyes reddened and he held a tissue to his face.
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