Computer Crime Criminals

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The odds that a computer crime goes unpunished are incredibly high. Criminals frequently get away with the above listed crimes. However, below are a few examples of criminals being caught and their punishment for the crimes that they get caught committing.

“Manuel Vasquez Contreras was convicted on April 1, 2004 on twenty-one felony counts: three counts of Penal Code section 530.5 (identity theft); ten counts of Penal Code section 484-487 (grand theft); two counts of Penal Code section 118 (making a false declaration in an application for vehicle registration); Penal Code section 470b (possession of a counterfeit driver's license); Health & Safety Code section 11359 (possession for sale of marijuana); and two counts of Health & Safety Code section 11350 (possession of cocaine). He was also convicted on two counts of Penal Code section 12316(b) (felon in possession of ammunition) based on his federal convictions for possession of a firearm during drug trafficking and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. The jury also found true an allegation that the defendant had taken in excess of $50,000 from the victims.” Manuel was sentenced to sixteen years in state prison for being convicted of 21 felonies, which he will be eligible for parole in 8 years.[1]

Linda Thi Vo was convicted of several counts of identity theft and fraud. She was sentenced to six years in state prison, and eligible for parole in just 3 years. The Santa Clara County Probation Office considered her sentence to be “lengthy”. [2]

Marquis Darnell Yarber plead guilty to eighteen felony counts pertaining to identity theft. He was being charged in five different cases, with 84 known victims. He received eight years in state prison, and will be eligible for parole in four years.[3]

Cruel and Unusual or Too Lenient

To some the above sentences may seem too harsh for these types of offenses. To others these sentences may seem too lenient. We will leave that up to you to decide for yourself whether you think these criminals are getting off easy or not.

In the state of California, we have adapted a three strikes law that we reserve for the most violent and serious felons. Or so the California public was tricked into believing. The criminals that we have discussed do not have any strikes, nor will they receive any for the nature of their crimes. It is quite possible that one of these criminals could be attacked while in prison. If these criminals were to, in turn, defend themselves, they could be convicted of assault and if convicted receive a strike and possibly life in prison.

Societal Implications

What does it say about our society when one fight means spending life in prison, yet when 84 people have their identity stolen, the criminal is paroled in nine years?

Is it fair that a person who pleads guilty to one count of selling $20 of crack/cocaine receives ten years in state prison, while a person who pleads guilty to multiple counts of identity theft and fraud receives three years in state prison?

These are some questions that should be on your mind before going to sleep tonight. If you agree that they are fair and just, well have a nice night of sleep. However, if you are like most people, you will feel the need for a revolution, a change to the system. Here are just a few of the things you can do:

  • Volunteer at Friends Outside
  • Write your local assembly member
  • Write your governor
  • Write your district attorney
  • Become a victim’s advocate

According to the California budget for 2008-2009, we are budgeting $10,161,787 for Corrections and Rehabilitation. However, we are only budgeting $432,098 for Labor and Workforce Development. Just think about the fact that we are willing to spend more than ten times the amount on criminals than we are on helping the unemployed to have jobs. Maybe this is the reason crime rates are at an all time high.


  1. Gibbons, Stephen (2004, May 13). Defendant sentenced in identity theft case. Retrieved August 3, 2008, from Office of the District Attorney Web site:,256,261&
  2. Gibbons, Stephen (2003, September 30). Lenghty prison sentence for young identity thief. Retrieved August 3, 2008, from Office of the District Attorney Web site:,257,263&
  3. Cornell, Amy (2008, March 12). Prolific identity thief sentenced to eight years in prison. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from Office of the District Attorney Web site:,258,265&