Security & Fraud

Prosecutors Argue For Cap One Hacker To Remain In Jail

Federal prosecutors believe that the woman allegedly responsible for the Capital One hacking is a danger to society who needs to stay in prison while awaiting trial.

Paige A. Thompson’s lawyers, however, asked a judge to cancel a bail hearing set for later this week and immediately release her to a halfway house, with GPS monitoring.

Thompson is accused of stealing personal data on more than 100 million Capital One customers. Federal prosecutors in Seattle say she has a long history of dangerous behavior that includes threats to kill others and to commit “suicide by cop.”

“In today’s America, it is easy enough to obtain firearms, and there is every reason to be concerned that Thompson, who repeatedly has threatened to kill, would obtain the means to carry out, and carry out, her threats — particularly when confronted with the alternative of near-certain conviction and imprisonment,” the prosecutors said, according to Bloomberg.

They added that Thompson has allegedly hacked servers of more than 30 other companies, educational institutions and other entities, and that investigators are still sifting through “multiple terabytes” of data to see what information was stolen. Additional charges will likely be made as the investigation unfolds.

The Capital One theft “was only one part of her criminal conduct,” the U.S. government said.

Thompson’s federal public defender, Mohammad Ali Hamoudi, said the government has yet to provide any evidence that Thompson has ever tried to evade law enforcement or miss court appearances in the past.

“Rather than establish that these incidents prove Ms. Thompson is a serious risk of flight, the government has established that she cooperates with law enforcement, does not flee, and has no means to leave the jurisdiction,“ said Hamoudi, adding that Thompson is suffering greater harm in custody because she is transgender.

But prosecutors believe that if Thompson were set free, she could potentially sell any stolen data she might have hidden, as well as carry out other hacks. In addition, she had access to an “arsenal” of firearms that allegedly belonged to her roommate, who is a convicted felon. The collection included ammunition, explosive material, assault rifles and a sniper rifle.

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