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So you want to be a computer criminal?

More what to do if you are busted...

INTRODUCTION 

The likelihood of getting arrested for computer hacking has increased to an unprecedented level. No matter how precautionary or sage you are, you're bound to make mistakes. And the fact of the matter is if you have trusted anyone else with the know ledge of what you are involved in, you have made your first mistake.

For anyone active in hacking I cannot begin to stress the importance of the information contained in this file. To those who have just been arrested by the Feds, reading this file could mean the difference between a three-year or a one-year sentence. To those who have never been busted, reading this file will likely change the way you hack, or stop you from hacking altogether.

I realize my previous statements are somewhat lofty, but in the 35 months I spent incarcerated I've heard countless inmates say it: "If I knew then what I know now." I doubt that anyone would disagree: The criminal justice system is a game to be played, both by prosecution and defense. And if you have to be a player, you would be wise to learn the rules of engagement. The writer and contributors of this file have learned the hard way. As a result we turned our hacking skills during the times of our incarceration towards the study of criminal law and, ultimately, survival. Having filed our own motions, written our own briefs and endured life in prison, we now pass this knowledge back to the hacker community. Learn from our experiences... and our mistakes.

Agent Steal

PART I - FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW 

   A. THE BOTTOM LINE - RELEVANT CONDUCT 

For those of you with a short G-phile attention span I'm going to cover the single most important topic first. This is probably the most substantial misunderstanding of the present criminal justice system. The subject I am talking about is referred to in legal circles as "relevant conduct." It's a bit complex and I will get into this. However, I have to make his crystal clear so that it will stick in your heads. It boils down to two concepts: 

   I. ONCE YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OF EVEN ONE COUNT, EVERY COUNT WILL BE USED 
TO CALCULATE YOUR SENTENCE 

Regardless of whether you plea bargain to one count or 100, your sentence will be the same. This is assuming we are talking about hacking, code abuse, carding, computer trespass, property theft, etc. All of these are treated the same. Other crimes you committed (but were not charged with) will also be used to calculate your sentence. You do not have to be proven guilty of every act. As long as it appears that you were responsible, or someone says you were, then it can be used against you. I know this sounds insane , but it's true; it's the preponderance of evidence standard for relevant conduct. This practice includes using illegally seized evidence and acquittals as information in increasing the length of your sentence. 

   II. YOUR SENTENCE WILL BE BASED ON THE TOTAL MONETARY LOSS 

The Feds use a sentencing table to calculate your sentence. It's simple; More Money = More Time. It doesn't matter if you tried to break in 10 times or 10,000 times. Each one could be a count but it's the loss that matters. And an unsuccessful attempt is treated the same as a completed crime. It also doesn't matter if you tried to break into one company's computer or 10. The government will quite simply add all of the estimated loss figures up, and then refer to the sentencing table.

More what to do when you are busted--->>

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