David Benjaim Schrooten, a 21-year-old Dutch computer hacker who operates under the name “Fortezza,” is scheduled to make his first court appearance today in Seattle as part of a 14-count indictment alleging that he stole and marketed thousands of stolen credit card numbers. Arrested in Romania in March, Schrooten arrived in Seattle on June 9th to face charges such as bank fraud, conspiracy and intentional damage to a computer and aggravated identity theft.
“This defendant has wrought havoc on victims and financial institutions around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “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. Cybercriminals need to know: We will find you and prosecute you.”
Here’s more from today’s press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle which alleges that Schrooten worked in conjunction with Christopher Schroebel of Keedysville, Maryland to commit the fraud:
According to the indictments, Schroebel hacked into the point of sale computer in a restaurant in the Magnolia neighborhood of 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. The malicious code transmitted the information to a Kansas server controlled by Schroebel. Across the country, Schroebel stole at least 4800 credit card numbers and security information. Schroebel conspired and worked with Schrooten to build “carding websites,” in order to make the stolen credit card numbers available to criminals for fraud. The indictments describe the victimization of four Western Washington residents who had their information stolen and used to commit bank fraud.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Romanian National Police and Seattle Police Department. Schroebel was arrested last fall, pleading guilty last month. He is scheduled to be sentence in August.
[Photo via Bigstock]