TJX data breach criminal gets five years in jail

A ringleader in the TJX credit card data breach has been jailed for five years.

A ringleader in the TJX credit card data breach has been jailed for five years.

Irving Escobar of Miami was also ordered to pay nearly £300,000 in restitution for leading the criminal operation that used personally identifiable information stolen from the TJX data breach in December 2006.

Although he was linked to this breach, which involved the theft of 130,000 credit and debit card account details, he was not charged with involvement with the much larger breach, which took place in 2005.

That breach involved the theft of 45.7 million account details - the biggest data breach in history.

Escobar and several co-defendants were prosecuted by the Florida Attorney General's Office.

Police discovered a complex operation that was using counterfeit cards with stolen credit card data.

Leading the operation, Escobar coordinated the use of these cards to purchase gift cards at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club outlets.

The defendants then redeemed these gift cards to purchase jewellery and electronic equipment - a modern-day version of money laundering, said the Attorney General's Office.

Authorities estimated a total loss of £1.5m that could be attributed to Escobar and his co-defendants on a nationwide scale. He was arrested in March this year.

Escobar pleaded guilty to charges of being involved in an organised scheme to defraud in March. His co-defendants also pleaded guilty to similar charges involving organised fraud and grand theft.

Co-defendants Dianelly Hernandez, Julio Alberti, Reinier Alvarez and Zenia Llorente were all sentenced to probation in August.

Escobar's mother, Nair Alvarez, pleaded guilty in March and was deported to Venezuela.

Police internationally are still investigating the

2005 TJX breach. Others may also be charged in connection with the 2006 breach.

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