Third man associated with #Anonymous in Australia Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges
CORRECTED: Adam Bennett, aka “Lorax,” was arrested in May, 2014, during the same time period that other members of Anonymous is Australia were arrested. DataBreaches.net has reported on the other two men: Mathew Hutchison (aka Rax) and Justin Soyke (aka Juzzy, Absantos, etc.). Information on Bennett’s case was difficult to obtain as the prosecution kept changing the charges. Now Raincoaster reports elsewhere that a plea deal of sorts has been reached and sentencing will be in March 2016. Because there are no plea deals in AU, I wound up deleting her material post-publication as it suggested some sort of deal when there was none.
According to a spokesperson for FreeAnons who has spoken directly with Adam and his wife, many of the 22 charges Adam faced were thrown out due to lack of evidence. There was no plea deal. Adam pleaded guilty to six remaining charges where the evidence against him made it likely he would be convicted if he went to trial. Five of those charges were for being complicit to a crime, and one related to when he pentested his employer’s system for the Heartbleed vulnerability. Being complicit to a crime, while serious, is a lot less serious than the original charges he faced, and it suggests that again, the prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to make any more serious charge stick.
The last charge, related to the pentesting, seems outrageous not only to Adam’s many supporters, but to security professionals who would like to see more employees testing their employer’s system for vulnerabilities.
The Free Anon spokesperson tells DataBreaches.net that given his history of community service and many positive contributions to society, Adam and his supporters remain hopeful that he will receive a non-custodial sentence.