The woman convicted of pulling off one of the largest bank-data heists in history was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and time served by a federal judge in Seattle.
Paige Adele Thompson was found guilty by a jury in June of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer and damaging a computer, but was acquitted of other charges, including aggravated identity theft.
Ms. Thompson, a former Seattle-area tech worker, was arrested in July 2019 after stealing records from Capital One Financial Corp. involving more than 100 million customers and credit-card applicants.
Personal information from Capital One credit-card applications from 2005 through 2019 was accessed, including credit scores, payment history and contact information, the bank said at the time. In addition, Social Security and credit-card numbers for tens of thousands of people were exposed.
The incident resulted in a $190 million settlement between Capital One and affected individuals, and an $80 million fine from the Treasury Department.
Federal prosecutors had pushed for a sentence of seven years. However, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said in the sentencing hearing that prison would be particularly difficult for Ms. Thompson, who is transgender, owing to her status and mental health. Mr. Lasnik scheduled a hearing on Dec. 1 to determine how much Ms. Thompson should pay in restitution.
“While we understand the mitigating factors, we are very disappointed with the court’s sentencing decision. This is not what justice looks like,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown in a statement. Spokespeople for Capital One didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Although we disagree that Paige committed any crimes, we are pleased the judge sentenced her to no prison time, especially when the prosecutors sought seven years,” said Brian Klein, a lawyer for Ms. Thompson and a partner at Waymaker LLP.
—Robert McMillan contributed to this article.
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Appeared in the October 6, 2022, print edition as ‘Capital One Data Thief Gets Probation.’