Your AP news story's only factual accuracy is my name, and part of my sentence.
Allow me to dispel a few myths:
- I haven't lived in Waterford since I was arrested. I moved last May.
Prosecutors said the trio tapped into the wireless network of a Southfield Lowe's store, using that connection to enter the chain's central computer system in North Wilkesboro, N.C., and eventually to reach computer systems in Lowe's stores across the country.
Once inside the central Lowe's system, the men installed a program in the computer systems of several stores that was designed to capture credit card information from customers, the indictment said.
See that? WRONG. Pull the transcript, the US attorney acknowledged in open court that my offense was mostly unrelated to the other two, and that I had no intent to collect credit card data or commit any sort of fraud.
- Thanks for not mentioning the $100 fine. Yes, it's small. blah blah blah. It puts the charges in perspective. I really appreciate it when people quote Lowe's sales numbers (like it matters) rather than my fine. Congratulations, they make lots of money. With several hundred stores, they'd better.
- I really appreciate that a few newspapers realized that I'm 24. Yes, I actually age over time. Yes, that means I'm not 22 anymore. wow. figure that.
- Copying and pasting the closing paragraph from previous articles lacks style. I'm calling you on it.
- Only one of you guys called us, and we were out of signal when you called. Thanks for just guessing instead of leaving us a number to get a hold of you later. Sure, it's not a compelling, riveting news article – unless it's about you.
- A quarter of the newswire article describes the store and it's income. I'm surprised you didn't post current price per share. Apparently, when you're low on facts, you just use random ones to fill up copy.
- For those of you playing along at home, I'd like to point out that they mention I'm cooperating with authorities. Thanks again guys, for just making shit up. I agreed to cooperate with authorities in my plea bargain. You're right. If Al Capone got a plea through North Carolina, so would have he. It's completely boilerplate. I didn't get anything for doing it, and they never asked for my cooperation – had they asked, I'd have been happy to do it, don't get me wrong. If it makes my friends feel any safer, I'd like to point out that my probation restricts me from being an informant or special agent for any government body without permission from the sentencing judge. I'd have to get something really special to go through that much effort.
- At least when you wrote up Adam's, you got court transcripts of what he said to the judge. Mine sorta sucked, but the Judge and everyone else chuckled at bit at the end. Thanks for not printing it, because your readers might have actually learned something about me.
- And really, thanks for mentioning that the entire indictment was dropped against me in exchange for pleading to a misdemeanor. I know you've never heard of a federal misdemeanor. Neither had the court clerk, or the US marshals at the front door. Deal.
04/05/05 34 MOTION by USA as to Paul G. Timmins to Dismiss Indictment referred to: Judge Lacy H. Thornburg (smj) [Entry date 04/05/05] 04/05/05 -- ORAL ORDER as to Paul G. Timmins granting [34-1] motion to Dismiss Indictment as to Paul G. Timmins (3) ( Entered by Judge Lacy H. Thornburg ) (smj) [Entry date 04/05/05] 04/05/05 -- DISMISSAL of Count(s) on Government Motion as to Paul G.
I know pacer documents cost a whole $0.08 a page. If I can afford it, so can you. I know they don't have anything on the misdemeanor case. Don't smear my name just because they don't use ECM/CF pacer and you're too lazy to pick up the phone.
In short, thank you for giving me an opportunity to be upset about every paragraph you ever wrote.
PS: My highschool journalism teacher would have given me an F if I turned that in.
PPS: If you're an actual reporter who is interested in actually getting some substance to your story, my attorney (586-992-2200) and I (248-379-7826) are available for comment.