Hacker "Sabu" Dodges Stiff Prison Term Thanks To His "Truly Extraordinary" Work As FBI Snitch

A notorious hacker avoided prison today when a federal judge ruled that his extensive cooperation with federal investigators warranted probation, not a term of incarceration that could have exceeded 20 years.

Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, who helped investigators identify his cohorts in “hacktivist” groups  like Anonymous, Internet Feds, and Lulzsec was sentenced this morning by Judge Loretta Preska in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

According to federal sentencing guidelines, Monsegur, 30, faced between 259 and 317 months in custody for his conviction on 12 felony counts. In a May 23 court filing, prosecutors argued that Monsegur’s cooperation was so “extraordinarily valuable and productive” that he was entitled to a “substantial downward departure” from sentencing guidelines.

Additionally, government lawyers asked Preska for “relief from the otherwise mandatory minimum sentence in this case.”

While prosecutors did not request a specific sentence for Monsegur, the filing noted that the United States Probation Office had recommended a sentence of time served. Monsegur, seen above, immediately began cooperating with the FBI following his June 2011 arrest. In March 2012, his cooperation was disclosed at the time criminal charges were filed against some of his fellow hackers.   

Citing Monsegur’s “truly extraordinary” cooperation with federal agents, Preska sentenced the hacker to time served and one year of supervised release. She credited Monsegur with “turning on a dime” to do “good.”

In brief remarks, Monsegur told Preska that he had done a lot of “thinking and soul searching and evolving, psychologically, emotionally” since his arrest. “One of the things I realized is that I hurt my family the most, my friends, and victims in the case,” he added.