It doesn't take a math major to know 44,000 is a large number. And when it comes to stolen credit card information, the aforementioned figure becomes even more jaw-dropping. That's exactly what federal prosecutors say 21-year-old David Benjamin Schrooten, a Dutch national recently extradited from Romania and expected in U.S. District Court yesterday to face indictment, is responsible for - among other things.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan says the investigation into Schrooten's alleged criminal endeavor began because a restaurant owner notified Seattle police that some of his customers had seen suspicious charges on their cards.
KING 5's Travis Pittman provides more detail about Schroebel's involvement:
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Schrooten and Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Maryland marketed stolen credit card numbers online. Schroebel is accused of hacking into the point of sale computer of a restaurant in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood and in a restaurant supply store in Shoreline.
Prosecutors say Schroebel used malicious code to copy the personal information of credit card transactions at the point of sale terminals. The information was then sent to a server in Kansas controlled by Schroebel.
The federal indictment alleges Schrooten's scheme relied on the computer systems of commercial businesses and computer servers or networks of payment processors, which were hacked into and pilfered for valuable information. The indictment also alleges other carding websites were allegedly broken into, with databases containing stolen credit card numbers subsequently raided and the information sold on Schrooten's own carding websites.
Prosecutors contend in late June 2011 Schrooten and a coconspirator--otherwise known as Schroebel - chatted online about the hacking of other carding websites, and a few days later carried out such a maneuver - subsequently offering the stolen credit card numbers they'd obtained from the theft on a carding website they'd established. Later, in July 2011, prosecutors say Schrooten's conspirator gained access to the database of another carding website and downloaded over 44,000 stolen credit card numbers onto a hard drive and uploaded the illicit information on a server he and Schrooten controlled.
Apparently realizing the importance of customer service, and in one of the few actually humorous portions of the indictment, prosecutors contend Schrooten and his associate, shortly after stealing the 44,000 mentioned above, discussed how they could best serve "customers" of their carding website.
Prosecutors contend Schrooten not only stole and sold the credit card numbers, but organized the information in a manner that made it easy for those in the market for bulk stolen credit cards to wade through - sorting them by Bank Identification Number (BIN), and "also the (likely) states of residence of the stolen numbers cardholders," according to the indictment.
The indictment against Schrooten contends that that banks that issued the credit card numbers that he allegedly stole suffered "substantial financial losses" as a result of his scheme.
As KING 5 notes, Schroebel pleaded guilty last month and will be sentenced in August.
Find the indictment against Schrooten on the following page ...