Five members of the District of Columbia National Guard used the online currency Bitcoin to buy stolen credit card information and make big purchases at stores on military bases, federal prosecutors said Monday.
The Maryland U.S. Attorney's office announced fraud and identity theft indictments against three guardsmen: Spc. Derrick K. Shelton II, brothers Spc. James C. Stewart III and former Sgt. Quentin T. Stewart. Spc. Vincent Anthony Grant was indicted separately and faces device fraud and identity theft charges.
A fifth guardsmen, Spc. Jamal Alexander Moody, pleaded guilty in January and is awating sentencing.
Between 2014 and 2015 the men conspired to use Bitcoin — a difficult to trace form of digital money — to buy stolen credit card information from online brokers, prosecutors said. They then encoded that stolen data into credit cards which they used to buy XBoxes, Playstations and gift cards at Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores on bases in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina, prosecutors said.
Quentin Stewart, 28, remains in custody. Shelton, 28, James Stewart, 25, and Grant, 27, were released after having initial hearings.