Blind Phone Hacker Gets 11 Years in Prison

A blind phone hacker from the Boston area just turned 19 — and will be spending the next 11 years in federal prison.

Matthew Weigman, a.k.a. "Li'l Hacker," of Revere, Mass., was sentenced to 135 months by a federal judge in Dallas Friday, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to retaliate against a witness, victim or an informant, and to conspiracy to commit access device fraud.

Weigman's accomplice, Sean Paul Benton, 23, of Malden, Mass., got 18 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Weigman and Benton admitted that in May 2008, they and Weigman's brother drove to the New Hampshire home of a Verizon technician who had thwarted Weigman's efforts to have his mother's phone service billed to an unsuspecting Texas woman.

According to the FBI affidavit, the technician felt menaced by the trio, who had shown up unannounced on a Sunday afternoon, and he called the police.

But that wasn't the worst of Weigman's alleged activities. He's also suspected of placing a 911 call that in 2005 sent a fully armed SWAT team to the Colorado Springs, Colo., home of a girl who'd refused to have phone sex with him.

Weigman and others in his phone-"phreak" gang used caller-ID-spoofing software to disguise their identities, and tricked phone-company employees into revealing technical secrets.

The FBI caught up to Weigman after the Colorado Springs prank and offered to make him a confidential informant, says Wired News, but he refused.

At that point, Weigman was still underage and somewhat shielded from prosecution. Had he stopped his activities before his 18th birthday in April 2008 — the month before the New Hampshire incident — he'd be a free man today.

"The little blind kid is one of the best. And that's a fact," an older phone hacker told Wired News last year, before Weigman's arrest.

• Click here to read more on this in Wired News, and hear two of Weigman's disturbing phone pranks.

• Click here for an earlier Wired Magazine article on and interview with Weigman from when he was still a juvenile.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.