Dutch hacker imprisoned for trafficking 100,000 credit cards

A Dutch citizen who was arrested and extradited from Romania was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a computer hacking and credit card fraud scheme that victimized people around the world, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

David Benjamin Schrooten, 22, also known in the hacking world as “Fortezza’, pleaded guilty in November 2012 to Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud and Bank Fraud, Access Device Fraud, Bank Fraud, Intentional Damage to a Protected Computer, and Aggravated Identity Theft.

Schrooten and co-conspirator Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Maryland marketed stolen credit card numbers via internet sites. Schroebel hacked into the computers of two Seattle area businesses and stole credit card information. According to the records in the case, he also hacked into the PoS computer in a restaurant in Seattle, and a restaurant supply store in Shoreline, Washington.

Schroebel inserted malicious code onto the victim’s computers that copied the personal information of the credit card transactions at the point of sale terminals. He conspired and worked with Schrooten to build “carding websites,” in order to make the stolen credit card numbers available to criminals for fraud. Investigators estimate that tens of thousands of people were victimized by having their stolen credit card numbers trafficked – with a damage figure of more than $63 million.

A third man, 33-year-old Charles Tony Williamson, of Torrance, California, is charged with 22 counts of various felony offenses for his role purchasing and using the stolen credit card numbers. Williamson is scheduled for trial this spring.

“By trafficking over 100,000 credit card numbers stolen by hackers, this defendant helped create the profitable black market for stolen data,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “We will target every link of the cyber crook business model. The hacker who stole the numbers was sentenced to seven years in prison, the broker who sold them online was sentenced today to 12 years in prison, and next before the court will be the leader of a criminal gang that was using these credit card numbers for fraud.”

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