Dutch man sentenced in US to 12 years in credit card scam

David Benjamin Schrooten, known as 'Fortezza,' in part ran Kurupt.su, a carding website

A 22-year-old Dutch man who sold credit card details online was sentenced on Friday to 12 years in a US prison in a fraud prosecutors alleged caused more than US$63 million in damages, according to the Department of Justice.

David Benjamin Schrooten, who was extradited from Romania last June, was part of a team that stole more than 100,000 credit card numbers and sold the details to other criminals on Kurupt.su, a so-called "carding" website or underground marketplace for stolen payment card data. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, a DOJ news release said.

Schrooten pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and bank fraud, access device fraud, a single count of bank fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors alleged Schrooten worked with Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Maryland, and Charles Tony Williamson, 33, of Torrance, California.

Schroebel, who was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts, hacked in the IT systems of a restaurant in Seattle and a restaurant supply store in Shoreline, Washington. He infected their computers with malicious software that recorded credit-card numbers inputted into point-of-sale systems.

Williamson, who is charged with 22 counts related to the operation, stands accused of purchasing and using the credit-card numbers. He is scheduled for trial later this year, the DOJ said.

Kurupt.su ran for about two years and had around 6,000 members who bought and sold pilfered payment card information. Schrooten, who was known by his online nickname "Fortezza," exercised tight control over who could join the secret forum.

He posted more than 1,000 notices on the forum in fluent English, booting users who ripped off other people. Schrooten was also accusing of hacking other carding forums, an effort believed to be intended to damage competitors.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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