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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: petersen.txt

Justin Petersen aka "Agent Rat" sentenced




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 Msg  : 407 of 500                                                              
 From : Ronald Mark Austin          1:340/13                29 Nov 95  02:30:36 
 To   : All                                                 29 Nov 95  09:44:52 
 Subj : Justin Petersen aka "Agent Rat" sentenced                               
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From: austin@phish.nether.net (Ronald Mark Austin)
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For those of you who don't know who he is, Justin Petersen aka Agent Steal
aka Eric Heinz is the one-legged genius who turned in Kevin Poulsen after
being caught in Texas through his fraudulent use of a South Western Bell
calling card from his home.  Though the preceding article says that
Petersen won Porsches etc. from radio stations etc. the only Porsche he
ever obtained was by conning a car dealership into letting him buy one with
doctored identification under the name of Martin Jason.  When that car
literally fell apart he simply stole a replacement while test driving it.
The radio station allegations arise out of a system actually discovered and
hacked by Poulsen but Petersen, always eager to try and convince people that
he has some bit of computer knowledge, never bothered to dispute the charges
in the press thinking it would give him the attention he so desparately
seeks.

Petersen is actually a petty credit and check scam artist who has desparately
tried to play himself off as a computer expert, security consultant and
government agent among other things.  His work for the government was
limited to wearing a wire to gain evidence on myself and Kevin Mitnick in
exchange for a slap on the wrist for his involvement with Pouslen.  Mitnick
was a little sharper than me at realizing who his friends are and
recognized Petersen for the rat he was.  After blowing the Mitnick
investigation, all Petersen had to do was go staight and testify against his
friends as agreed but soon he was back to his specialty (no, not computer
hacking - Justin could not hack his way out of a paper bag) credit card
fraud.

While awaiting sentencing, I merely stopped by his house a few evenings
one month and gathered up the stolen mail and post-it notes he'd written
to himself like "things to remember" while stealing the mail with his buddy
Grant  (who is now on probation in Las Vegas for other crimes) out
of his trash can.  Seems that discarding evidence somewhere other than
his own trash bin didn't make his list.  After presenting this
information to prosecutors in Los Angeles, they called him in for a
meeting to discuss why he was comitting more crimes while working for them.

He had no excuse (the bullshit about needing money to capture mystery hakcers
who were "victimizing" his family formed in his mind only recently) so he
left to go to the bathroom and never came back.  The U.S. attorney was
beside himself trying to figure out how anyone could be so stupid as to blow
what even the sentencing judge called "a sweetheart deal".  A bench
warrant was issued for Petersen and he fled to Texas but soon Petersens taste
for Vaseline, Seran Wrap and Bondage got the better of him and he came back
to LA.  So confident of his ablilties to elude police, he practically
made it public that he was again hitting the clubs on Sunset.

So one Sunday night I waited outside his IV drug addicted girlfriend's
apartment across the street from the FBI headquarters in Los Angeles and
after spotting him I called the FBI and they came over and busted him.
It was surprising how quickly he can run on one leg but the FBI agent was
a little faster and a lot bigger.  He tackled Peteren and that was the last
I saw of him.  Turned out that Petersen had written himself notes again, this
time about a wire transfer.  While he would like the press to think that he
crafted some unique computer heist, the truth is that he simply tapped a
Telenet dial-up and gathered the log-ins and passwords for wire transfers and
tried to transfer some money to a friend of his.  Of course the bank noticed
immediately since he had no idea of what he was doing so, needless to
say, he never made a penny from that scheme.  But his notes did provide the
government with all the evidence they needed to make the Heller Financial
charge stick.

Petersen's stupidity cost him his leg (a left on his motorcycle in front
of an oncoming car), his freedom and, if rumors about his having AIDS are
true, his life.  I used to despise the guy for turning rat on me but now I
feel nothing but sympathy for his pathetic existence.  I still don't think
he get's it.


      "Special thanks to all of the stupid people for without them some
       of us might not be so smart and might have to work for a living."
                -- Agent Steal in a recent Phrack article--
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