United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today, September 11, 2007, that Max Ray Butler of San Francisco, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of wire fraud and identity theft related to an online scheme to steal credit card and other identity information. Butler was arrested in San Francisco on September 5, 2007 on a criminal complaint filed in Pittsburgh.
According to Ms. Buchanan, the indictment alleges that from in and around June 2005 to on or about the date of his arrest on September 5, 2007, Butler, known widely on the Internet as ‘Iceman,’ among other aliases, engaged in a scheme in which he hacked into secure computer systems connected to the Internet, including but not limited to computers located at financial institutions and credit card processing centers, in order to acquire credit card account information and other personal identification information that he could sell to others. The buyers would use the information either to make fraudulent purchases or to re-sell to others to use, causing losses to credit card issuers. The indictment alleges that Butler sold tens of thousands of credit card numbers belonging to other persons, including sales to an individual in the Western District of Pennsylvania on or about October 14, 2006 and December 6, 2006.
As part of the scheme, the Indictment alleges that Butler created a website known as ‘Cardersmarket’ for the purpose of establishing a safe haven for those engaged in the theft, use and sale of credit cards, a process known as ‘carding,’ to communicate with one another and coordinate their illegal activities, and to attract others to assist in carding activity. According to the indictment, Cardersmarket presently has thousands of members worldwide. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)