Hacker Max Ray Butler Pleads Guilty

Former security consultant Max Ray Butler pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges June 29 in connection with his role in a massive hacking and identity theft scheme. Butler faces decades behind bars when he is sentenced in October.

Notorious hacker Max Ray Butler, also known as Max Ray Vision, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges June 29, acknowledging his involvement in the theft of credit card and identity data.

Butler, 36, of San Francisco, was a former security consultant turned hacker who had been on the radar of law enforcement under his various hacker aliases for years. Convicted in 2001 of hacking into the Department of Defense, he served 18 months in prison. In 2004, he was part of a group of individuals investigated by the FBI and the Secret Service for compromising code in the "Half-Life" video game.

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Between 2005 until 2007, Butler operated a Website called CardersMarket.com he set up with partner-in-crime Christopher Aragon, of Los Angeles, and used it to buy and sell stolen credit card data. Aragon would then manufacture credit cards with the stolen card information. Other thieves would use the cards to illegally purchase merchandise that would later be resold on eBay.

The ring was linked by investigators to the theft of nearly 2 million credit card numbers and $86 million in fraudulent purchases.

Butler was arrested and indicted in September of 2007 on charges of wire fraud and transferring stolen identity information. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.