20 Years for Credit-Card Hacker

The college dropout behind one of the biggest computer crimes in history (which he reportedly called “Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’”) has been sentenced to 20 years and one day in prison, the harshest sentence ever for a convicted hacker. Earlier in the week, he was sentenced to 20 years each for two similar crimes in which he sold credit-card information on the black market, and will serve each sentence concurrently. Five other people have been convicted in the scheme. Prior to his arrest, Albert Gonzalez collected $2.8 million from hacking, some of which he buried in his parents’ backyard and the rest of which he used for lavish cars, a handgun, and a Tiffany & Co. ring for his girlfriend. Defense for Gonzalez claim that his role was “peripheral” to that of two Eastern European hackers, and fault Gonzalez’s struggles with drug addiction, Internet addiction, and Asperger’s syndrome for his crimes.