Multimillion credit card data theft

Four Romanian nationals were charged for their alleged participation in an international multimillion dollar scheme to remotely hack into and steal payment card data from hundreds of U.S. merchants’ point of sale computer systems.

Adrian-Tiberiu Oprea, 27, of Constanta, Romania; Iulian Dolan, 27, of Craiova, Romania; Cezar Iulian Butu, 26, of Ploiesti, Romania; and Florin Radu, 23, of Rimnicu Vilcea, Romania, were charged in a four-count indictment filed in the District of New Hampshire with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, wire fraud and access device fraud.

Oprea was arrested last week in Romania and is currently in custody there. Dolan and Butu were arrested upon their entry into the United States on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, 2011, respectively, and remain in United States custody. Radu remains at large.

According to the indictment, from approximately 2008 until May 2011, Oprea, Dolan, Butu and Radu conspired to remotely hack into more than 200 U.S.-based merchants’ point-of-sale (POS) or “checkout” computer systems in order to steal customers’ credit, debit and gift card numbers and associated data (collectively referred to as “credit card data”).

Merchant victims include more than 150 Subway restaurant franchises (which is less than 1 percent of all Subway restaurants), located throughout the United States, including in the District of New Hampshire, as well as more than 50 other identified retailers.

According to the indictment, members of the conspiracy have compromised the credit card data of more than 80,000 customers, and millions of dollars of unauthorized purchases have been made using the compromised data.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum of five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit computer related fraud, 30 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud.

They also face fines up to twice the amount of the fraud loss and restitution.