For Guerilla Black, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that his name is finally back in the news, seven years after the moderate success of his 2005 semi-hit "You're the One," featuring Mario Winans. The bad news? It's for all the wrong reasons. Black, real name Charles Tony Williamson, was arrested at his Los Angeles home on Thursday [July 12] for allegedly buying thousands of stolen credit card numbers.
The U.S. Attorney's Office claims that between January 11, 2011, and February 26, 2012, Williamson received and possessed at least 27,257 stolen credit card numbers, and that almost $150,000 in fraud loss has been tracked to just 134 of those stolen numbers. As a result, the rapper's being hit with more charges than the third rail: conspiracy to access protected computers to further fraud, conspiracy to commit access-device fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, 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 was scheduled to make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles yesterday.
The feds claim Williamson bought the stolen numbers from 22-year-old David Benjamin Schrooten and 21-year-old Christopher A. Schroebel, who allegedly obtained them by hacking into the computer systems at two Seattle-area businesses. Both have already been indicted and arrested.
"Today's arrest shows that criminals cannot hide in cyberspace. We will prosecute all parts of the criminal gang — regardless of where they may be," U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a press release. "I commend the cyber investigators of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force for making sure that all the participants — from the hackers to the end purchasers of stolen data — are held accountable."
There's been no comment from Guerilla Black or any of his reps, but stay tuned.
Puzzlingly, Black has not yet been charged with stealing the delivery and flow of the late Notorious B.I.G. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)
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