A San Francisco man accused of hacking into financial institutions and then hawking the stolen data in an online forum was indicted Tuesday on identity theft charges, authorities said.
Max Ray Butler, who uses the online alias "Iceman," faces up to 40 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine after a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned a five-count indictment charging the 35-year-old with wire fraud and transferring stolen identity information.
Police tracked down Butler with the help of an informant from Pennsylvania who purchased more than 100 credit card records from him.
According to the complaint against Butler, who is being held by federal authorities in California, he used wireless hijacking tactics to break into the databases of financial institutions and credit card processing centers from various hotel rooms.
Then, he sold the stolen information on his online forum, reportedly peddling tens of thousands of records.
"The scheme that we allege is from around June 2005 to the date of his arrest, Sept. 5, of last week," Luke Dembosky, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, told SCMagazine.com. Dembosky referred all other questions to the criminal complaint.
Butler is expected to return to Pittsburgh to face the charges after a hearing scheduled for Monday in California.