Rap artist arrested in connection with Seattle hacking scheme

Rap artist arrested in connection with Seattle hacking scheme
Charles Tony Williamson
SEATTLE -- A California-based rap artist was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly buying and using thousands of credit card numbers stolen from two Seattle businesses.

Charles Tony Williamson, who performs as Guerilla Black, was arrested at his Los Angeles home on a 22 count indictment, according to US Attorney Jenny Durkan.

Prosecutors say the 33-year-old musician bought the stolen card numbers from two co-conspirators, 22-year-old David Benjamin Schrooten of the Netherlands and 21-year-old Christopher A. Schroebel of Maryland.

Schrooten and Schroebel have already been indicted and arrested for hacking credit card information from a Magnolia restaurant and a restaurant supply company based in Shoreline.

Prosecutors say between January 2011 and February 2012, Williamson bought more than 27,000 stolen credit card numbers. He and his cohorts allegedly used the numbers in California and Nevada. Investigators haven't yet tallied up the complete loss figures, but they say Williamson charged close to $150,000 on 134 of the cards.

Using email to communicate with Schrooten and Schroebel, Williamson allegedly bought the cards in bulk lots of 100, 500 or more.

He's being charged with conspiracy to access protected computers to further fraud, to commit access device fraud and to commit bank fraud. He's also facing two counts of accessing a protected computer without authorization to further fraud, six counts of access device fraud, eight counts of bank fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

Williamson is best known for his 2005 song, "You're the One," which spent 11 weeks on Billboard's "Hot 100."