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United States v. Thompson

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

August 23, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
PAIGE A. THOMPSON, Defendant.

          DETENTION ORDER

          Michelle L. Peterson United States Magistrate Judge.

         Offenses charged:

         Count 1: Computer Hacking in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(2)(A) and (C), and (c)(2)(A), and (B)(iii)

         Date of Detention Hearing: August 23, 2019

         The Court, having conducted a detention hearing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f), and based upon the reasons for detention hereafter set forth, finds:

         APPLICABLE LAW

         The government moved for a detention hearing in this matter, arguing Defendant poses both a risk of flight and a danger to the community. (Dkt. # 13 at 8-11.) Defendant argued that as a threshold matter, the government has not established Defendant is a flight risk under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f), and therefore objected to the court holding a detention hearing, and further argued the government failed to meet its burden in showing Defendant is a danger to the community. (See Dkt. # 19.)

         The procedural requirements for a pre-trial detention hearing are set forth in section 3142(f), as part of the Bail Reform Act of 1984 (the “Act”). Under the Act, courts “shall hold” detention hearings in two instances. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f). The first instance is when the case involves any one of the enumerated serious offenses outlined in § 3142(f)(1). The second instance is when a case involves a serious risk of flight or obstruction of justice. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(2). Once one of these conditions is sufficiently met, a detention hearing is held “to determine whether any condition or combination of conditions ... will reasonably assure the appearance of such person as required and the safety of any other person and the community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f).

         To determine whether conditions of release could reasonably assure a defendant's appearance in court and the safety of the community, courts consider the nature and seriousness of the charges, the weight of the evidence against the defendant, the defendant's history and characteristics, and the nature and seriousness of the danger posed to any person or the community by the defendant's release. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g). The weight of the evidence is the least important factor in this analysis. United States v. Motamedi, 767 F.2d 1403, 1408 (9th Cir. 1985).

         The government bears the burden of showing that a defendant poses a danger to the community by clear and convincing evidence, and it bears the burden of showing that a defendant poses a flight risk by a preponderance of the evidence. United States v. Gebro, 948 F.2d 1118, 1121 (9th Cir. 1991). “Danger, ” as contemplated by 18 U.S.C. § 3143, “may, at least in some cases, encompass pecuniary or economic harm.” United States v. Reynolds, 956 F.2d 192, 192-93 (9th Cir. 1992); see also United States v. Hickey, No. CR 97-0218 WHA, 2006 WL 1867708, *3 (N.D. Cal. July 6, 2006) (finding that there was a risk that defendant would perpetrate additional fraudulent schemes because he stated that he would like to develop a new real estate investment, and this might easily tempt him to resort to the type of fraud and deceit that led to his conviction).

         FINDINGS OF FACT AND STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DETENTION

         1. The government alleges Defendant hacked into servers used by Capital One Financial Corporation and stole information from credit card application of approximately 106 million people. This data breach has resulted in at least 40 lawsuits against Capital One Financial Corporation, who expects to incur between $100 and 150 million this year as a result. Due to the nature and circumstances of the alleged offense, Defendant faces a substantial sentence if found guilty.

         2. The government alleges that when Defendant's residence was searched, agents found terabytes of data stolen from an additional 30 other companies, educational institutions, and other entities.

         3. The government alleges forensic evidence links Defendant to the data theft, including stolen data from Capital One Financial Corporation found on a ...


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