WASHINGTON - A computer hacker from Georgia pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud and identity theft after authorities found more than 675,000 stolen credit card accounts on his home computers.
Credit card companies have traced more than $36 million in fraudulent transactions to the accounts that were breached by Rogelio Hackett Jr., 26, of Lithonia, Ga.
Court documents indicate that Hackett built a reputation for himself as a teenager in the hacking community and had been stealing account information for roughly a decade. Typically, he sold the account data to others, who would use them to make fraudulent charges.
As far back as 2002, Hackett would sell account numbers for $20 to $25 each to people across the world who would use the stolen accounts to make purchases. Authorities estimate that Hackett personally earned more than $100,000 by selling accounts and that credit card fraud was his sole source of income the last few years.
In August 2007 alone, Hackett obtained data on more than 350,000 accounts by hacking the network of an unidentified company specializing in online ticket sales, according to court documents.
Hackett also owned equipment to manufacture counterfeit credit cards and was found possessing more than 100 such cards.
While significant, the scope of Hackett's crime pales in comparison to Albert Gonzalez, who used the online handle "soupnazi" and was sentenced in 2010 to 20 years in prison for orchestrating a scheme that stole tens of millions of credit and debit accounts, resulting in at least $200 million worth of fraud.
Hackett, who pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Va., will be sentenced July 22 and faces two to 12 years in prison.
Hackett's lawyer declined comment.