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Teenage TJX card fraud gang leader jailed

I was unsurprised to read last night that the ringleader of a gang that used financial information stolen from the TJX group during the widely publicised hacking incident earlier this year, has been given five years in clink and ordered to pay almost $600K in compensation.

What did surprise me, however, was the fact that Irving Escobar (opens in new tab), from Miami, was just 19 years old in March of this year, when he pleaded guilty to charges that he took part in a counterfeit card scam that used card data lifted from the TJX system hack.

It's important to note (opens in new tab) that, whilst Escobar and his buds used the data skimmed from the TJX systems hack, they were not apparently involved in the system hack itself.

In court, officials said that Escobar led the operation and co-ordinated the use of the cloned cards to purchase gift cards at various retailers.

The gift cards were then used to buy jewellery and electronic goodies, which could then be sold for readies.

Court officials reckon that Escobar and his gang may have been responsible for around $3 million in fraudulent card charges.

Despite what he did, you have to feel a bit sorry for Escobar, as his mother, Nair Alvarez, is said to have pleaded guilty to being involved in the fraud back in March of this year and has since been deported to Venezuela.

So Escobar is in clink in Florida for five years and his mum can't exactly visit him on a regular basis. All together now - ahhhhh...