High Prison Time For Shadowcrew Culprit


Another member of the notorious Shadowcrew gang that specialized in online
fraud is heading to jail.


Chad Hatten, 36, of Houston was sentenced Tuesday to 90 months in prison, to
be followed by three years of supervised release.


U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal sentenced Hatten on four counts of
access device fraud. He was also sentenced to 24 additional months for
aggravated identity theft, which will be served consecutively with the access
device fraud counts.


According to the Department of Justice, Hatton, who admitted to being a
member of the gang, used the Shadowcrew Web site to assist with his credit
card fraud activities.

He also purchased gift cards from retail stores using
counterfeit credit cards and resold the gift cards at a discount.


In addition, Hatten was also charged with possessing equipment used to
encode counterfeit credit cards with stolen numbers.


In November, Hatten entered a plea of guilty to a five-count
superseding indictment charging him with four counts of access device fraud
and one count of aggravated identity theft.


Internetnews.com profiled the Shadowcrew activities in a September 2002
story. Soon after that story appeared, members of Shadowcrew launched a Denial of Service attack against internetnews.com and demanded it be removed.


The story was not removed and officials of Jupitermedia contacted law
enforcement officials who opened an investigation that eventually became
known as Operation Firewall.


Two years later, U.S. Secret Service agents made 28 arrests in
eight states and six countries stemming from its investigation.


Members of the Shadowcrew bulletin board openly discussed online fraud
techniques and boasted they were safe from prosecution because they used
anonymous remailers and proxies to hide their identities.


Before Secret Service agents shut down the operation, the Shadowcrew site
trafficked in at least 1.5 million stolen credit and debit card numbers,
causing losses in excess of $4 million to the issuing institutions.

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