Hacker Gonzalez Says He Was Acting on Behalf of Government
Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the security breaches of Barnes & Noble, OfficeMax, BJs Wholesale Club, TJX and other retailers. But Gonzalez says his actions were part of his assignments as a paid government informant. Last year, IT Business Edge blogger Lora Bentley reported that the Secret Service paid Gonzalez as much as $75,000 a year to help catch bank card thieves.
In his petition, Gonzalez states:
I still believe that I was acting on behalf of the United States Secret Service and that I was authorized and directed to engage in the conduct I committed as part of my assignment to gather intelligence and seek out international cybercriminals.
He blames a defense attorney for not advising about a "Public Authority" defense, in which a defendant argues that a crime was committed with the government's approval. The Secret Service has not commented on the petition.