Welsh hacker pleads guilty to credit card crime

Swansea court hears hacker tell of Internet misdemeanours

A Welsh computer hacker at the centre of a multi-million pound FBI fraud investigation has pleaded guilty to breaking into Internet sites for money, just days before going on trial.

In a hearing at Swansea Crown Court, Raphael Gray, a 19-year-old from Clynderwen in West Wales, admitted to twice using stolen credit card information over the Internet. Gray admitted using two stolen credit card numbers to create Web sites.

Gray, who is likely to face a prison sentence if convicted of these crimes, was due to stand trial on 2 April on charges of taking part in a £3m Internet fraud. The trial follows an FBI investigation and FBI investigators were expected to appear during the course of the trial.

Gray admitted to stealing credit card information from sites including feelgoodfalls.com, mostorefront.com, albionsmo.com and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists' Web site.

The teenager had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of breaking section 10 of the Computer Misuse Act -- legislation designed to combat computer crime -- by downloading unauthorised material. Gray has been released on unconditional bail.

The British government is gearing up to get tough on computer hackers. It is to launch a National High-Tech Crime Unit, a collaboration between the National Crime Squad (NCS) and the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) with £25m of funding later in April to fight computer crime.

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