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The Story of a Teenage Hacker Who Made More Than Your Annual Salary Every M

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The Story of a Teenage Hacker Who Made More Than Your Annual Salary Every Month

"https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/59nawb/the-story-of-a-teenage-hacker-who-made-more-than-your-annual-salary-every-month'

Maxime took an interest in hacking when he was six. At 16, he'd raked in nearly £1 million via credit card fraud.

His first lawyer, Maître Laurent-Franck Lienard, explained that he faced a potential 14 years in prison and a fine of €1 million. The authorities estimated Maxime and his associates had stolen €12.5 million from over 28,000 European credit cards. Sent to temporary detention while awaiting trial, his lawyer managed to get him out for six weeks to study and sit his college entrance exams. He passed with honours.

Maxime's trial finally took place in 2008, in Aix-en-Provence, where the appellate court handed him a suspended sentence of only 12 months in prison, and a fine of €45,000. American Express demanded €1 million in damages, which the court rejected.

***

Once free, Maxime decided to reboot his life, passing the competitive entrance exam to become a cybersecurity engineer. After a stint at the Ministry of Defence, today he works as a senior pen-tester, identifying security risks for a private cybersecurity agency. "I'm really lucky," he says.

When asked what he's learned from the entire saga, Maxime tells me he's not sure he regrets what he did. "Especially because it ended up putting me on the right track – I just had to go through all that to get here. But I want to apologise for the fear and sadness I caused my family. That, I'll always regret."

*Name changed to protect the individual’s privacy

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