A hacker, charged with 44 felony counts of computer fraud and cyberstalking in the US, has avoided a whopping 440 years in prison.
Fidel Salinas, a 28-year old hacker with links to Anonymous, faced a maximum 10 years in prison for each of his 44 crimes, adding up to a cumulative sentence of 440 years, but prosecutors in the Southern District of Texas have agreed a plea deal with the accused. Under the deal, Salinas will plead guilty to one misdemeanour count of computer fraud, for which he will be liable to pay $10,000 in restitution.
Salinas’ defense attorney, Tor Ekeland, accused prosecutors of misreading the law when their case implied a 440-year sentence, saying, The more I looked at this, the more it seemed like an archetypal example of the Department of Justice’s prosecutorial abuse when it comes to computer crime. It shows how aggressive they are, and how they seek to destroy your reputation in the press even when the charges are complete, fricking garbage.”
Sentencing is scheduled for 2nd February. Salinas could be given a maximum one-year jail sentence, but Ekeland is confident that the restitution will be the only punishment her client will face.