WASHINGTON – Chad Hatten, 36, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced today to 90 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, the Justice Department announced today.
Hatten was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in the Southern District of Texas to 66 months on four counts of access device fraud. He was also sentenced to 24 additional months for aggravated identity theft, which will be served consecutively to the access device fraud counts, pursuant to the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act enacted in July 2004.
Hatten entered a plea of guilty on November 1, 2005, to a five-count superseding indictment charging him with four counts of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. As part of his plea, Hatten admitted to being a member of the Shadowcrew criminal organization, an international criminal organization with numerous members that promoted and facilitated a wide variety of criminal activities including the electronic theft of personal identifying information, credit card and debit card fraud, and the production and sale of false identification documents. Hatten used the Shadowcrew website to assist with his credit card fraud; he also purchased gift cards from retail stores using counterfeit credit cards and resold the gift cards for a percentage of their actual value. In addition to possessing and using stolen credit card numbers to obtain items of value, Hatten was also charged with possessing equipment used to encode counterfeit credit cards with stolen numbers.
Hatten’s conviction is part of a continuing effort to prosecute individuals targeted during Operation Firewall, a year-long investigation undertaken by the U.S. Secret Service, working in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and other U.S. Attorneys’ offices and law enforcement agencies. The undercover investigation led to the arrests of 21 individuals in the United States on criminal complaints in October 2004. Additionally, several individuals were arrested in foreign countries in coordination with the domestic arrests. For more information, visit: http://www.cybercrime.gov/mantovaniIndict.htm.
This case was investigated by U.S. Secret Service and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman for the Southern District of Texas and Kimberly Kiefer Peretti and Thomas Dukes from the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice.