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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » US Court Sentences Prolific Credit Card Hacker to 13 Years

US Court Sentences Prolific Credit Card Hacker to 13 Years

April 30, 2010
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A major credit card hacker has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for stealing close to 2 million credit card numbers.

May Ray Butler's wire fraud case has resulted in about $86 million in losses for banks all over the country.

Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice Cohill Jr., who presided over the case, has also ordered him to pay $27.5 million in restitution.

The 37-year-old San Francisco native, who calls himself 'Mr. Vision', pleased guilty to charges pressed against him last summer. He admitted to using encryption software to hack into data canters and financial institutions from California.

With other online aliases such as 'Iceman', and 'Digits', Butler has been under federal custody since 2007 after US Secret Service agents raided his San Francisco apartment.

Butler penned a letter to Judge Cohill saying that being sentenced to more jail time would not 'serve any purpose.' He also requested to be set free from jail so that he could use his hacking expertise to 'help people.' In the same letter, he expressed much remorse for his criminal behavior with 'a lot of regret'. He also admitted that he had lost the sensitivity to conduct himself as a responsible and legally accountable member of society, which he said was the biggest factor of his downfall.

Although he was initially charged with up to 30 years of incarceration, a 'lighter sentence' was requested since he had cooperated with the investigation efforts of federal agents.

The prosecution was formalized in Pittsburgh since two informants in the area collaborated with the Secret Service to bring down the hacking operation.

Along with accomplice Christopher Aragon, 'Mr. Vision' created 'CardersMarket.' This was an online forum intended to steal identity information and credit card accounts.

The operation was lead by 'Mr. Vision' who gave several card numbers to Mr. Aragon, who in turn encoded the information 'onto plastic cards' and used them to purchase several merchandize. The other cards were sold to interested buyers online.

In September 2007, Secret Service agents searched the apartment where the hacking operating was based. About 1.8 million stolen credit card accounts were found on the hacker's computer. These same cards were used for an estimated $86.3 million worth of fraudulent transactions. As of press time, Mr. Aragon's verdict is still pending in a court in California.

The defense attorneys contended that the loss figures reported by the government were 'inflated' because some of the credit accounts actually originated from other hackers, whom Mr. Vision had no personal contact with.

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  • Larry
    With the Virgin / Barclaycard signature offer, there seems to be some consumer deception or maybe even outright fraud goin on.   I decided to jump on this offer..  read all the info on it..  was approved for their platinum card, paid the fee, then was only awarded 10,000 points instead of the advertised 20,000.   When i inquired about the less than advertised bonus points, Barclaycard claims only Signiture Visa cardmembers get the 20,000..  as a platinum cardholder, you don't qualify for that level of bonus, so you get 10k instead.   Well, in their current ongoing promotions, it states plain as day that....    Applicants approved for the Visa Signature or Platinum Card with $49 annual fee will receive 20,000 Bonus Points awarded to your Virgin America Rewards Account at the close of the first billing statement in which you make your first purchase or balance transfer (that is not returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded). They don't mention anything about a separate program for platinum cardholders..  However, trying to get someone to resolve this issue with either Virgin or Barclaycard seems to be rather impossible.. Seems to me they're simply drawing people in with the fraudulent offer, then simply saying, oh, we're sorry you don't qualify..  but thanks for signing up for our garbage credit card with insane fees..   
  • CreditLandCom
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We have reviewed this offer and you are correct, nowhere it is mentioned that 20,000 Bonus can become a 10,000 Bonus all of a sudden... We will mention this in our review of this card so others can make an informed decision. Another way to get Virgin miles is to get an American Express charge card: The Business Gold Rewards Card® now offers 50,000 Miles, though you do have to spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership to get it. It also has $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. http://www.credit-land.com/details/the-business-gold-rewards-card-from-american-express-open.php Premier Rewards Gold Card now offers 25,000 Miles, though you do have to spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership. It also has annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175. http://www.credit-land.com/details/american-express-premier-rewards-gold-card.php While we do not know If any of these offers make sense to you, we are at least sure that you will get advertised bonus in full if you decide to get them... Conversion rates for Virgin America are: 100 Elevate Points = 200 Membership Rewards® Points All the best.
  • Deborah Ellsworth
     would very much like to start a new credit history  by making payments on time I would tohave a credit card that is NOT PREPAYID! I don't need a card with a high limit just something to start a new credit history. Thank You Deborah Ellsworth
  • Deborah Ellsworth
    I would very much like to start a new credit line to get back on track. I DO NOT WANT A PREPAID CARD!! This new credit card if I am approved does not have to hace a high limit just something for me to start over again and prove myself ThankYou. D Ellsworth
  • Miss Edna
    there is a huge problem with the RFIP chip: it is easily compromised. There are already 'readers' in the form of what looks like a cellphone in a case, that scans all the info in the chip by merely walking near a person -- this 'reader' penetrates leather, cloth, spandex, etc. The only thing it will NOT penetrate is METAL. Perhaps one has seen commercials touting metal credit card cases. Here is my hint for a free fix: cut a piece of aluminum foil or use the foil that is used to keep foods fresh, like coffee. Cut it so that when folded once, it forms a sleeve for your credit card. place the credit card in the sleeve, then place the sleeve in your wallet.
  • Robin Parks
    I am looking to apply for the AARP Visa signature card from Chase that offers $100 after spend $500 in first 3 months, no annual fee and 0% interest first year; I don't want to mail in offer because of having to write in Social security #. Can you direct me to the proper on-line site?
  • CreditLandCom
    The Chase bank cards are not currently available at Credit-Land.com, but you can consider applying for the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card - $100 Cash Back. The cards has similar terms and cash back program.
  • Becky
    This is Becky Now what do I do just waqit for acard to come to me?
  • CreditLandCom
    Once you have applied, you should receive a letter within 10 business days letting you know if you were approved and when your card will arrive. If you did not receive any letter or notification from the issuer, you should contact them directly. Also, you should contact the issuer if you’ve been waiting for your credit card longer than 30 days. Since we are not a bank and don’t issue credit cards, we cannot give you any information about your application or credit card.
  • SavingStar
    Thank you for posting about SavingStar. Just to clarify one sentence in your article, we have over 5 million members (not 500). Thanks, Josh
  • CreditLandCom
    Sorry for the misprint. We’ve corrected the sentence. Thank you for noticing that.
  • Eric
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