TJX Hacker Makes Plea Deal, Faces 15 to 25 Years

Albert Gonzalez - the hacker accused of breaching Heartland Payment Systems - agreed Friday to plead guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in another high-profile case, the 2005 breach of TJX and other retailers. He will formally make his plea on Sept. 11.

The 28-year-old Miami resident faces 15 to 25 years in prison under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Boston. Terms of the deal would require Gonzalez to forfeit $2.8 million, a Miami condo, a car and pricey jewelry. Gonzalez is accused of stealing 170 million credit and debit cards in all of his data breach crimes.

This plea deal will close the case against Gonzalez in Massachusetts, where he was charged with hacking into computer systems of TJX, Barnes and Noble and Office Max. The deal also includes a case in New York, where he was charged with hacking into the networks of Dave & Buster's restaurant chain.

Gonzalez still faces charges filed in New Jersey last week that allege he and two other unnamed defendants hacked into Heartland Payment Systems, grocer Hannaford Brothers and ATMs stationed in 7-11 convenience stores. Two other retailers, J.C. Penney and Target, also were included in the list of retail victims.

Gonzalez was arrested for the TJX hack in May 2008. He had previously worked as an informant for the U.S. Secret Service.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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