Home Pittsburgh Press Releases 2010 “Iceman” Computer Hacker Receives 13-Year Prison Sentence
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“Iceman” Computer Hacker Receives 13-Year Prison Sentence

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 12, 2010
  • Western District of Pennsylvania

Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, February 12, 2010, that Max Ray Butler, also known as Max Ray Vision, of San Francisco, California, has been sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh to 13 years in prison, followed by five years supervised release, and was ordered to pay $27.5 million in restitution on his conviction on wire fraud charges.

Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill imposed the sentence on Butler, age 37.

Assistant United States Attorney Luke Dembosky advised the court that Butler, known widely on the Internet as “Iceman,” among other aliases, conducted computer hacking and identity theft on the Internet on a massive scale. As part of the scheme, Butler hacked into financial institutions, credit card processing centers, and other secure computers in order to acquire credit card account information and other personal identification information. Many of these cards were provided to an accomplice, Christopher Aragon, based in the Los Angeles area, who used the cards and a team of associates to buy merchandise for sale. Butler sold the rest of the card numbers outright over the Internet.

Dembosky stated that Butler and Aragon created a website known as “CardersMarket,” devoted to the acquisition, use, and sale of credit card account information, a process known as “carding.” A primary purpose of the site was to recruit talented individuals to assist in carding activity. At its peak, CardersMarket had approximately 4,500 members worldwide.

Butler was arrested by the United States Secret Service on a criminal complaint in the case on September 5, 2007 in San Francisco. Dembosky informed the court that a search of the computer systems in Butler’s apartment revealed more than 1.8 million stolen credit card account numbers. The Secret Service provided these account numbers to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, which reported that the amount of fraudulent charges on the cards in Butler’s possession totaled approximately $86.4 million. Dembosky said that these losses have been borne by the thousands of banks that issued the cards. The sentence of 13 years is believed to be the longest to date in the United States for a computer hacker.

Mr. Cessar commended the United States Secret Service, which led the investigation of Butler. The Secret Service was assisted by the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the Department of Justice; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver, Canada; the Newport Beach Police Department, Newport Beach, California; and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County, California. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California also assisted in the apprehension of Butler.

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