Jul 28, 2014

California Rapper Pleads Guilty in Credit-Card Fraud That Targeted Shoreline Business

Charles Tony Williamson, also known as "Guerilla Black,"admitted to purchasing and using thousands of stolen credit-card numbers stolen from local businesses.

California Rapper Pleads Guilty in Credit-Card Fraud That Targeted Shoreline Business
A California rap artist known as "Guerilla Black" pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in a credit-card fraud scheme that targeted a Shoreline business.

Federal prosecutors say the 33-year-old rapper, whose real name is Charles Tony Williamson, came to possess more than 27,000 stolen credit card numbers between January 2011 and February 2012.

A little more than 100 of those numbers resulted in a financial loss of nearly $150,000, officials said. The total financial loss has not been calculated.

Prosecutors say hackers stole the credit card numbers from point-of-sale computers at two local businesses—a restaurant in Magnolia and a restaurant supply store in Shoreline—before selling them to Williamson. 

While on release awaiting trial, Williamson produced fake credit cards with the stolen numbers. He was re-arrested in January 2013 and has remained in custody since then.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and unauthorized access to a protected computer to facilitate fraud, both of which carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as access device fraud (up to 15 years and $250,000 fine), bank fraud (up to 30 years and $1 million fine) and aggravated identity theft, which carries a minimum sentence of two years consecutive to any other prison terms resulting from the case. 

David Benjamin Schrooten, 22, a Dutch hacker known as "Fortezza" was sentenced to 12 years in prison earlier this year for his role in the scheme. Another co-conspirator, Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Md., was sentenced to seven years in 2012.  

Williamson's sentencing has been set for Oct. 10.

Related coverage:

- Shoreline Business Targeted in International Hacking Case

- Maryland Man Who Stole Credit Card Info From Shoreline Business Sentenced to Prison

- Dutch Hacker Sentenced to 12 Years for Credit Card Scheme

- L.A. Rap Artist Arrested for Buying Hacked Credit and Debit Card Info Stolen From Shoreline Business

Don’t miss updates from Patch!