Credit card fraud suspect arrested and extradited from Romania www.privateofficer.com
David Benjamin Schrooten, 21, was expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle Monday on 14 counts of conspiracy, access device fraud, bank fraud, intentional damage to a computer, and aggravated identity theft.
Schrooten, also known in the hacking community as “Fortezza,” was arrested in Romania in March and arrived in Western Washington Saturday.
“This indictment alleges that in just one transaction he trafficked in as many as 44,000 stolen credit card numbers resulting in millions of dollars in losses to financial institutions,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan. “I commend the cyber investigators at the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and Seattle Police Department for tracking down these international criminals.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Schrooten and Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Maryland marketed stolen credit card numbers online. Schroebel is accused of hacking into the point of sale computer of a restaurant in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and in a restaurant supply store in Shoreline.
Prosecutors say Schroebel used malicious code to copy the personal information of credit card transactions at the point of sale terminals. The information was then sent to a server in Kansas controlled by Schroebel.
“Last fall, a single business in Magnolia experienced a serious loss – they immediately notified the Seattle Police Department. SPD detectives on loan to the Electronic Crimes Task Force quickly matched this case with other patterns and connected the dots to an international criminal enterprise,” said Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel.
The Dept. of Justice says Schroebel stole at least 4,800 credit card numbers and security information across the country, then worked with Schrooten to build websites in order to sell the information to criminals.
At least four Western Washington people were victimized.
Schroebel pleaded guilty last month and will be sentenced in August.
Possible punishments include:
– Bank fraud: Up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine
– Access device fraud: 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
– Damaging a protected computer: 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
– Conspiracy: 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
– Aggravated identity theft: Mandatory 2 year prison term