David Schrooten, 21, a Dutch man, prominent in the international computer hacking community, made his first court appearance in Seattle Monday afternoon for a 14-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, access device fraud, bank fraud, intentional damage to a computer, and aggravated identity theft, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Schrooten, known in the online hacking community as “Fortezza,” and his partner Christopher Schroebel, 21, marketed stolen credit card numbers via Internet sites.
Schroebel is accused of hacking into the computers of two Seattle-area businesses, including a restaurant supply store in Shoreline, and stealing their credit card information.
“This defendant has wrought havoc on victims and financial institutions around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan, who chairs the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement.
“This indictment alleges that in just one transaction he trafficked in as many as 44,000 stolen credit card numbers," said Durkan. This resulted "in millions of dollars in losses to financial institutions."
Across the country, Schroebel allegedly stole at least 4,800 credit card numbers and security information. The indictments describe the victimization of four Western Washington residents who had their information stolen and used to commit bank fraud.
Credit card fraud costs financial institutions $40 billion annually. In the Western District of Washington more than 180,000 stolen credit card numbers have been identified in recent cyber cases.