Record-Breaking Credit Card Hacker Pleads Guilty

Dennis Faas's picture

Record-breaking hacker Albert Gonzalez has pleaded guilty to the largest credit card heist scheme ever. The 28 year old Miami man recently admitted to hacking various computer networks and swiping millions of credit card numbers.

Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to a total of nineteen counts of computer fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft, was not alone in the scheme. He, along with about ten others from across Europe, China, and the United States, had been accused of breaking into computer networks in order to swipe an astounding 130 million credit card and debit card numbers. Some estimates have pegged the total card numbers stolen as high as 170 million. (Source:

Variety of Shoppers Affected

Those affected by the scheme include shoppers of T.J. Maxx, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, BJ's Wholsesale Club, and even OfficeMax.

Gonzalez also admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in relation to a hack involving the Dave & Buster's restaurant chain. That charge dates back to May, though most others were brought to public attention in August of this year.

Gonzalez Faces Steep Price for Crimes

In order to help pay back for his crimes, Gonzalez will forfeit over $2.7 million, his condominium, a car, and various pieces of jewelry. Although various plea agreements are helping reduce Gonzalez's total retribution, he still faces prison sentences of 25 years for the Boston charges and 20 years for the New York charges, likely to be served concurrently. It's also likely that he'll have to add about half a million more dollars in fines to the funds he has already agreed to forfeit. (Source:

More Charges to be Laid

That's just the start of Gonzales' problems now that the massive heist has been brought to court; in fact, Gonzalez will still face several more charges in New Jersey for conspiring to steal credit card information from Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven, and prominent supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers.

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