Hacker Sentence to 10 years in prison

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Amplify’d from www.wallstreetjournal.com

Hacker Sentenced to 10 Years

A computer hacker was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty in February to hacking into Internet-phone networks and reselling those services for a profit.

Edwin Andres Pena, 27 years old, transmitted more than 10 million minutes of unauthorized Web-based telephone calls, which resulted in the loss of more than $1.4 million to telecommunications companies, prosecutors said.

Mr. Pena, a Venezuelan citizen, fled the U.S. after his initial arrest in 2006 and was apprehended in Mexico in February 2009, prosecutors said. He was extradited to the U.S. and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit computer hacking and wire fraud in February.

“Theft is theft whether you rob a bank or hack into somebody else’s network and steal their services,” said Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney in Newark.

A lawyer for Mr. Pena didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Prosecutors alleged Mr. Pena masterminded a scheme to hack into Voice over Internet Protocol networks and then resell those services to unsuspecting customers while purporting to be a legitimate wholesaler of those services. Prosecutors claim Mr. Pena is the first person to be charged with carrying out such a scheme.

Mr. Pena enlisted the help of others, including Robert Moore, a professional hacker from Spokane, Wash., to carry out the scheme, prosecutors said. Mr. Moore was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in March 2007 to conspiracy.

Prosecutors said Mr. Pena purchased real estate, cars and a 40-foot motor boat in order to disguise money he obtained from the scheme, including a 2004 BMW M4. On Monday, he was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution.

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