Guerilla Black Sentenced to 9 Years In Prison

Posted By Urban News Hour | October 29, 2013

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – A California-based rap artist was sentenced Friday to more than nine years in prison for buying and using thousands of credit card numbers stolen from two Seattle businesses.Charles Tony Williamson, who performs as Guerilla Black, was on the user end of a fraud involving credit card hacks at businesses in Seattle and Shoreline, according to US Attorney Jenny Durkan.The 36-year-old Torrance, California native bought credit card numbers in bulk from a hacker based in Maryland and from various other websites, Durkan said in a Friday news release.

Prosecutors say between January 2011 and February 2012, Williamson bought more than 27,000 stolen credit card numbers. He and his cohorts allegedly used the numbers in California and Nevada.

At sentencing, District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said the “impact of the crime is tremendous.”Williamson was sentenced to 110 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

Williamson is best known for his 2005 song, “You’re the One,” which spent 11 weeks on Billboard’s “Hot 100.”

CALIFORNIA – Guerilla Black, best known for his 2004 single “Compton,” is facing prison time after pleading guilty to identity theft and bank fraud charges.

According to Patch.com, the Compton rapper (real name: Charles Tony Williamson) appeared in court Tuesday (July 9) and entered a guilty plea for his part in a credit card fraud scheme that racked up hundreds of thousands in losses — a little more than 100 of those cards resulted in a financial loss of nearly $150,000, officials said.

A total amount hasn’t been officially revealed.

He was arrested back in January, along with four others who were apprehended various locations around L.A. county.

At the time, the rapper was already on a pre-trial release after being indicted by federal authorities in Washington on fraud charges last summer.

Black (real name: Charles Tony Williamson) allegedly purchased credit card numbers from hackers.

Others involved in the scheme have been sentenced. David Schrooten, a Dutch hacker known as “Fortezza”, received 12 years in prison for his role, and Christopher Schroebel received 7 years.

Black pleaded guilty to conspiracy and unauthorized access to a protected computer to facilitate fraud, both carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Other charges include access device fraud (up to 15 years and $250,000 fine), bank fraud (up to 30 years and $1 million fine), and aggravated identity theft, which carries a minimum sentence of two years consecutive to any other prison terms resulting from the case.

So yea, he’s facing a lot of time.

Guerilla Black was on the rise in the mid-2000′s with the release of his 2005 debut, Guerilla City.

While he garnered nationwide recognition and a push from Jive Records, he was meant with resistance, simply because he sounded too much like the late Notorious B.I.G.

He remained active in music in the years following, releasing various singles and mixtapes, his last being 2009′s The Blacktapes.

However, he’s remained under the radar.

This week, however, he resurfaced when he made headlines after being arrested for identity theft.

According to the Seattle PD Blotter, the 33-year-old rapper (real name: Charles Tony Williamson) was arrested at his Los Angeles home on Thursday (July 12) on a 22-count indictment that alleges he purchased and used stolen credit/debit card numbers obtained through the computer hacks of two Seattle area businesses — a restaurant in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and a restaurant supply company in Shoreline.

Along with Guerilla Black, two co-conspirators (David Benjamin Schrooten, 22, of the Netherlands, and Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Maryland) have also been indicted and arrested in the scheme for hacking into and selling the credit card info of the aforementioned Seattle businesses.

The rapper was apparently communicating with the two hackers via email, requesting “dumps” of stolen credit card numbers “in bulk” of 100, 500 or more.

He also asked for “freshly” stolen numbers, so they would be easier to use, because it’d take longer for victims to realize their info had been stolen.

The indictment says that Black had received and used at least 27,257 stolen credit card numbers from American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover between January 2011 to February 2012.

While it’s unclear how much he had spent on others’ dimes, estimates said the number was close to $150,000 in fraud loss has been attributed to just 134 of the over 27,000 card numbers stolen.

Schroebel was arrested in November 2011, and has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month; while Schrooten was arrested in Romania in March and was extradited to Western Washington last month.

Guerilla Black faces charges of conspiracy to access protected computers to further fraud, to commit access device fraud and 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.

While it’s unclear how much time he faces altogether, bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine; access device fraud and damaging a protected computer are punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine; conspiracy is punishable by five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory consecutive two-year prison term.

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