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Computer Hacker Who Jumped Bail Gets 41 Months; Crime: Justin Petersen rigged radio contests and cracked bank security. 'Special skills' may have had role in sentencing.
[Valley Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Berger, Leslie
Date: Nov 28, 1995
Start Page: 5
Section: Metro; PART-B; Zones Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Convicted computer hacker Justin Tanner Petersen--who used the handle "Agent Steal," took part in a scheme to rig lucrative radio station contests and admitted to illegally possessing 40 passwords to various financial accounts--was ordered Monday to serve 41 months in federal prison, the second-stiffest sentence ever meted out for similar cyber-crimes.

In sentencing Petersen in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Judge Stephen V. Wilson called him "a bad apple" whose talent had been ill-used.

Petersen's lawyer, Jay L. Lichtman, said he planned to appeal the sentence, which he says was unfairly enhanced by two special circumstances invoked by federal prosecutors: first, that Petersen had used "special skills" in committing his crimes and second, that he fled while on bail, and while helping the federal government pursue cases against other hackers.

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