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Hector Xavier Monsegur, Aka Sabu, Dodges Sentencing Again 116

Posted by timothy
from the and-for-my-next-impression-jesse-owens dept.
hypnosec writes "Ex-LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, has been handed another sentencing delay, possibly because of his continued cooperation with the U.S. government that led to the arrest of several Lulzsec members. Sabu plead guilty to all counts of bank fraud and identity theft offenses, and was to receive up to 124 years of imprisonment — but was granted a six-month breather back in August 2012 after the U.S. government asked the District Attorney to consider adjournment of Monsegur's trial 'in light of the defendant's ongoing cooperation with the Government.' New reports indicate that Sabu has dodged sentencing for a second time, with no dates set for the next hearing."
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Hector Xavier Monsegur, Aka Sabu, Dodges Sentencing Again

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  • by slick7 (1703596) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:01AM (#42994313)
    The government doesn't like competition.
  • It wasn't free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eksith (2776419) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:39AM (#42994367) Homepage
    He has already been sentenced to a lifetime of cooperation with the feds in exchange for a pittance and an assurance he won't do hard time... or any time maybe. The courts are just a formality at this point; just to placate those calling for his and Anonymous' head.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:41AM (#42994373)

    From what I understand LulzSec never stole anything. The government simply heard they were hacking, which is apparently worse than terrorism, murder, rape, or forced slavery. So they broke this man by threatening to put him in jail for the rest of his life (124 years is a life sentence).

    If he was smarter, he would have gotten a job as a banker and actually stole shit and destroyed people's lives. In that case he would be immune from prosecution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:11AM (#42994435)

    The system “works” by getting people who may or may not be guilty to “cooperate”. If you “cooperate” it means your helping to convict other people who may or may not be guilty. The way they get you to “cooperate” is by intimidation. They pile on every conceivable charge and you can't feasibly defend against everything financially. The reason only rich people get off is because they can afford to fight (pay a good lawyer for a near indefinite period of time).

  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:33AM (#42994479) Homepage

    The sentences reported in press releases when someone is indicted are derived by adding up for each charge the maximum sentence that it is possible for anyone to get for that charge, and then that total is reported. That is nowhere near what the person actually faces in almost every case. There are three things under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that greatly reduce the sentence they actually face.

    First, the maximum sentence for a given count is only possible for the most severe instances of that kind of violation.

    Second, priory convictions are taken into account. To get the maximum sentence, you have to pretty much be a career criminal.

    Finally, felonies are divided into groups. If you are charged with multiple felonies from the same group for the same underlying acts, you will only be sentenced for one of the felonies in the group.

    The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are non-binding, so it is possible for a judge to sentence someone to more than the guidelines call for, but such sentences are almost always reduced on appeal to something in accord with the Guidelines. I've not seen anything in the Sabu case that would make it an exception to this.

  • by The Master Control P (655590) <[ejkeever] [at] [nerdshack.com]> on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:12AM (#42994541)
    Copying large amounts of personal information from corps with bad security and posting it on the Intarwebs, while not stealing, isn't exactly legal. Now that being said, threatening a 124 year sentence for it is bullshit of the highest order.

    But that's the wonderful thing about the US criminal code, isn't it? It doesn't matter if you've actually done anything wrong or not - A DA or cop with a vendetta will find something to fuck you over with eventually because so many things have been criminalized that it's impossible to conduct a meaningful life without being a criminal any more. And all the time on Law & Order, the cops extort business owners into cooperating because "wouldn't it be awful if you had inspectors and tax auditors crawling up your ass forever?" and the district attorneys openly extort witnesses into cooperating by threatening to steal the rest of their lives, but it's a Good Thing because they're after Bad People.

    And if it goes too far, that's exactly how dictatorship works - it's not that you have to cooperate, but bad things might happen if you don't.
  • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:43AM (#42994615)

    The plea bargain system in particular is appalling. Either accept a lesser charge or we'll hit you with everything and nail you to the wall somehow. And indeed that is what is happening here.

  • Re:Problem though (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:46AM (#42994625)

    It's important to remember he "faces up to 124 years in prison"; not "he will get 124 yeas". Likely he has some plea bargain already agreed reducing that considerably. Presumably he has already got that agreed down to the level where the prosecutor will recommend 20 years or less and has some set of conditions which lead him to come lower.

    Leaving plea bargains completely with prosecutors (US prosecutors can decide exactly which crimes to prosecute for; US judges have strict sentencing guidelines which depend on that choice) is what converts the US criminal law system from a "justice system" into an enforcement system. In almost every other country the Judge is allowed to review everything. If an unreasonable guilty plea has been made he can ignore it or reduce the sentence completely. If the prosecutor has ignored certain crimes to get a settlement, the Judge can even sometimes reinstate those. This reduces proprietorial discretion from something around 1000% (Sabu is a supid git, but IMHO it's worth maximum 5 years even if you think crimes against stupidity should be strongly punished; probably really a few months) down to about 20-50%. This makes prosecutors think seriously about doing their job and not just going out for publicity. That's what went wrong with Aaron's case [wikipedia.org]. Imagine your friend with a newborn kid makes a small mistake (curiously wonder what that SQL string is in your bank login; check it before you realise what you are doing) and gets a shit like Ms Ortiz [wikipedia.org]. Imagine she begins to believe that the only way she's going to see her kid again before the kid grows up is if she says who taught her how to do that. Imagine it was you tried to teach her how to secure her web server.

    If you are a US voter, for the love of god (or whatever it is you worship) write off to your congressmen and explain why Aaron's case was wrong. Try to fix at least the computer legislation if not the system of plea bargains.

  • Re:It wasn't free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:55AM (#42994649) Homepage Journal

    which gets us to how courts don't do shit anymore.

    you're either guilty of something worth 124 years in the prison or you're not(obviously a sentence like that is _not_ what had been in mind for the activities he had done). justice shouldn't be a game for prosecutors to play with to get max score(max amount of people doing max amount of time).

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:42AM (#42994929)

    If they want to get you they'll find something on you until they get you. The point is this, if you're a political activist then you gotta plan on getting got. Plan ahead of time on going to prison or don't be any kind of political activist. MLK knew he was going to be arrested a lot and knew he was going to be killed. So did most others.

    So why are the current generation of so called hacktivists populated by these coward snitches like Sabu who start out talking all brave and tough but then get questioned by men in uniform and suddenly they turn completely against their crew and their side? Either you're with Antisec or you're not. The posers are the problem. Sabu was like the agent provocateur who would encourage people to commit crimes so the authorities could have something on them and pressure some of them into becoming traitors.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:46AM (#42994947)

    Copying large amounts of personal information from corps with bad security and posting it on the Intarwebs, while not stealing, isn't exactly legal. Now that being said, threatening a 124 year sentence for it is bullshit of the highest order.

    But that's the wonderful thing about the US criminal code, isn't it? It doesn't matter if you've actually done anything wrong or not - A DA or cop with a vendetta will find something to fuck you over with eventually because so many things have been criminalized that it's impossible to conduct a meaningful life without being a criminal any more. And all the time on Law & Order, the cops extort business owners into cooperating because "wouldn't it be awful if you had inspectors and tax auditors crawling up your ass forever?" and the district attorneys openly extort witnesses into cooperating by threatening to steal the rest of their lives, but it's a Good Thing because they're after Bad People.

    And if it goes too far, that's exactly how dictatorship works - it's not that you have to cooperate, but bad things might happen if you don't.

    If you're not prepared to go to jail for 124 years then you shouldn't be involved in crime. Turning snitch because you're afraid of life in prison still makes you a snitch.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:07AM (#42995025) Homepage

    Even worse that slime sought and groomed minors to commit crimes for him and also to be the fall guys for the crimes he committed. The FBI also went on to seek and groom more minors into criminal activity with all the profound stupidity of those who see their promotions before any principles of justice.

    Right now the FBI and Hector Xavier Monsegur are stuck with each other. The FBI trying to excuse their joint criminal activity to the judges and now the FBI are stuck pushing a hugely reduced sentence for nothing, for all the joint criminal activity they finished with the same number of lulzsec members they started with and found 'Anonymous' not to be some giant hacking organisation with tens of thousands of members but just an idea. Yet the FBI are stuck with Hector Xavier Monsegur else they will not be able to recruit quislings and back stabbers in future.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:32AM (#42995095)

    If you're not prepared to go to jail for 124 years then you shouldn't be involved in crime.

    Exactly. It doesn't matter what that crime is - if you're not ready to accept a life sentence, you should be careful to obey every law. No speeding, which might be charged as attempted homicide by motor vehicle. No spitting on the sidewalk, which might be charged as distribution of a biological weapon for all the infectious agents.

    The problem with this case, and with the US justice system in general, is the complete absence of any sense of proportionality. Sabu faces life in prison, but a drunk driver can run down schoolkids and face (on average, across states) 20 years. Sabu faces 124 years in prison for posting credit card numbers on the internet, but running a sex-slave trade is only good for 15 years.

    So, by all means, obey all the laws. Make sure you're not one of the people committing three felonies a day. If you've pissed off someone in the prosecutor's office, breaking even one law can cost you your house, job, family, friends, and freedom. [simplejustice.us]

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @02:30PM (#42996605)

    Worse is how they get people to testify against others by offering them time off their sentence. They can't offer you 100,000 dollars to testify against someone but they can say "testify that you saw him shoot the victim and we'll drop your sentence from life to 10 years." Hell I'd rather have the 10 versus life than a million dollars. It is buying testimony no matter what they say. If I'm on a jury all a bought testimony is good for is corroboration of viewable facts at best.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante

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