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Computer Hacker Pleads Guilty to Violating Probation Terms

April 23, 1996

Famed computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, who led federal agents on a two-year cross-country chase before his capture last year, pleaded guilty Monday in Los Angeles to one federal charge of cellular phone fraud and admitted violating terms of his probation from an earlier computer fraud conviction.

Although the federal government dropped 22 other charges in return, a federal prosecutor has indicated that Mitnick may face even more charges.

The computer wizard, who as a fugitive became an anti-authority hero in the world of renegade hackers, admitted illegally possessing cellular phone programming numbers and to violating four conditions of his probation, including illegally accessing Pacific Bell's computer.

In return for Mitnick's plea, the U.S. attorney's office agreed to drop 22 other fraud charges in an indictment handed down against him in Raleigh, N.C., where Mitnick was captured in February 1995.

The Raleigh charges were consolidated with Mitnick's probation violation case and an ongoing investigation into other possible charges in Los Angeles.

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