Santa Monica attorney Richard Sherman, who is representing a friend of [Kevin Mitnick]'s in another hacker case, has accused the FBI of not only actively using [Justin Tanner Petersen] as an informant, but also of turning a blind eye to Petersen's alleged crimes during the time he was in their care. The crimes involve alleged credit card fraud.
Petersen eventually pleaded guilty to six counts, including rigging a radio station contest with a $20,000 prize. He faced a sentence of up to 40 years in jail and a $1.5-million fine, but the sentencing was delayed several times while, Sherman believes, Petersen continued working for the government. [Phillip Lamond] said Petersen told him the FBI was paying him $600 a month "to help them track down hackers."
Then on Oct. 18, 1993, 15 months after entering his first guilty plea, Petersen was confronted outside federal court by [David Schindler], who asked if he had been committing any crimes while on bail. Petersen said he had, according to Schindler. Petersen met briefly with his attorney, then took off.