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   States Secret Service.

  

   When he finally realised Rosen wouldn't budge, Holman gave up. Rosen

   then negotiated with the federal prosecutor, US Attorney Joe Burton,

   who was effectively Holman's boss in the case, to call off the pursuit

   in exchange for Par handing himself in to be formally charged.

  

   Then Par gave Rosen his red bag, for safekeeping.

  

   At about the same time, Citibank investigator Wallace and Detective

   Porter of the Salinas Police interviewed Par's mother as she returned

   home from the bus depot. She said that her son had moved out of her

   home some six months before, leaving her with a $2000 phone bill she

   couldn't pay. They asked if they could search her home. Privately, she

   worried about what would happen if she refused. Would they tell the

   office where she worked as a clerk? Could they get her fired? A simple

   woman who had little experience dealing with law enforcement agents,

   Par's mother agreed. The investigators took Par's disks and papers.

  

   Par turned himself in to the Salinas Police in the early afternoon of

   12 December. The police photographed and fingerprinted him before

   handing him a citation--a small yellow slip headed `502 (c) (1) PC'.

   It looked like a traffic ticket, but the two charges Par faced were

   felonies, and each carried a maximum term of three years for a minor.

   Count 1, for hacking into Citicorp Credit Services, also carried a

   fine of up to $10000. Count 2, for `defrauding a telephone service',

   had no fine: the charges were for a continuing course of conduct,

   meaning that they applied to the same activity over an extended period

   of time.

  

   Federal investigators had been astonished to find Par was so young.

   Dealing with a minor in the federal court system was a big hassle, so

   the prosecutor decided to ask the state authorities to prosecute the

   case. Par was ordered to appear in Monterey County Juvenile Court on

   10 July 1989.

  

   Over the next few months, Par worked closely with Rosen. Though Rosen

   was a very adept lawyer, the situation looked pretty depressing.

   Citibank claimed it had spent $30000 on securing its systems and Par

   believed that the corporation might be looking for up to $3 million in

   total damages. While they couldn't prove Par had made any money from

   the cards himself, the prosecution would argue that his generous

   distribution of them had led to serious financial losses. And that was

   just the financial institutions.

  

   Much more worrying was what might come out about Par's visits to TRW's

   computers. The Secret Service had seized at least one disk with TRW

   material on it.

  

   TRW was a large, diverse company, with assets of $2.1 billion and

   sales of almost $7 billion in 1989, nearly half of which came from the

   US government. It employed more than 73000 people, many of who worked

   with the company's credit ratings business. TRW's vast databases held

   private details of millions of people--addresses, phone numbers,

   financial data.

  

   That, however, was just one of the company's many businesses. TRW also

   did defence work--very secret defence work. Its Space and Defense

   division, based in Redondo Beach, California, was widely believed to

   be a major beneficiary of the Reagan Government's Star Wars budget.