Heartland Hacker to Plead Guilty

Albert Gonzalez, the TJX intruder, has accepted a plea agreement on charges that he faces. The charges are that he hacked into Hannaford Brothers, Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven, and two other retailers that remain unnamed in the nation.

The attorney representing Gonzalez filed documents in the New Jersey US District Court, where charges were filed by Heartland Payment Systems this past August.

On Tuesday, a federal judge transferred the case to Massachusetts, where Gonzalez has pleaded guilty to two other cases.

Gonzalez is a former informant for the Secret Service known by the online aliases “Cumbajohhny” and “segvec.” He was charges in August with two hackers from Russia. The accusations are that they stole over 130 million credit and debit cards from Heartland Payment Systems, a credit card processing company, and the other companies mentioned above.

In May 2008, Gonzalez was charged with ten other people in NY and in August 2008 in MA with intrusions onto the security of OfficeMax, TJX, Dave and Busters, and other unmentioned companies. He pleaded guilty and in both cases, he was scheduled to be sentenced December 21.

It was expected that he receive 15 to 20 years in prison for his actions. The sentencing will probably now be delayed to allow him to plead guilty to the new charges against him. To account for the NJ charges, the government and its offices need time to recalibrate their sentencing positions.