33-year-old Charles Tony Williamson, better known as the famous rap artist Guerilla Black, has been detained at his home in Los Angeles on suspicion of purchasing and using payment card details obtained by hackers from two restaurants from the Seattle area.
The hackers – David Benjamin Schrooten, aged 22, and Christopher Schroebel, 21 – have also been arrested and indicted.
According to the investigators, Williamson purchased at least 27,257 stolen credit card numbers from the hackers. While the total losses are not yet known, the amount may be large, especially since only 137 of the cards have been utilized to make purchases worth $150,000 (118,000 EUR).
For his crimes, the rapper has been charged with accessing a protected computer without authorization to further fraud, access device fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit access device fraud and to commit bank fraud.
He is also accused of conspiracy to access protected computers to further fraud.
For all those accusations, Williamson could spend a large part of his life in prison, especially if we consider that the bank fraud charges alone could land him in jail for the next 30 years.
“Today’s arrest shows that criminals cannot hide in cyberspace. We will prosecute all parts of the criminal gang – regardless of where they may be,” revealed U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
“I commend the cyber investigators of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force for making sure that all the participants — from the hackers to the end purchasers of stolen data — are held accountable.”
Schroebel, arrested in November 2011, has already pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing. David Benjamin Schrooten, of the Netherlands, was taken into custody in March while visiting fellow hackers in Romania.