[IMGCAP(1)]

Albert Gonzalez, the alleged mastermind behind the data breaches that siphoned tens of millions of dollars from credit unions and banks, agreed last week to plead guilty to stealing credit card information from TJX Cos. and several other retailers, reports Credit Union Journal. The 38-year-old Gonzalez, who worked as a government informant while engaging in criminal activity, has been charged in connection with the well-known breaches at TJX, Sports Authority, Barnes & Noble, BJ's Wholesale Club, Dave & Buster's, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Forever 21, DSW shoes and, more recently, at Heartland Payment Systems, Hannaford Bros. and 7-Eleven Inc. Gonzalez agreed to forfeit more than $2.8 million in cash, a condominium in Miami, a 2006 BMW automobile, IBM and Toshiba laptop computers and related equipment, a Glock 27 firearm, a Nokia cell phone, a Tiffany diamond ring, and three Rolex watches, according to a filing with the U.S. District Court in Boston on Friday. He faces being sentenced to 15 to 25 years in prison under the agreement. Gonzalez, who has been in federal custody in Brooklyn, N.Y., for a year, worked as a federal informant after he was arrested in 2003 for helping organize the online credit card fraud ring, known as shadowcrew.com, which sold credit union and bank card information online. The plea agreement comes two weeks before Gonzalez was scheduled to go on trial for his role in hacking into the computer system at Dave & Buster's, a national amusement chain.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry