People in the hacking community allegedly knew David Benjamin Schrooten only by his code name, “Foretezza.” Federal prosecutors claim Schrooten, 21, used the alias to steal tens of thousands of credit card numbers from a slew of small businesses and financial institutions around the world.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement.
With an accomplice, the Dutch native allegedly peddled the stolen card numbers on the Web after pulling them as he pleased from restaurant’s points of sale systems.
The pair managed the feat by inserting malicious codes into businesses’ computers that copied credit card numbers from each transaction completely undetected, according to the DOJ.
The fraud was detected when a Magnolia, Wash. restaurant “experienced a serious loss” and notified police.
“(Seattle Police Detectives) 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.
If found guilty of bank fraud, Schrooten faces up to 30 years in prison a $1 million fine. He was arraigned in Seattle on Tuesday. His allegedly conspirator, Maryland resident Christopher Schrobel pleaded guilty in May and is due for sentencing in August.
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