Grand Jury Indicts 36 on Cyberfraud Charges

08 February, 2018, 16:19 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Justice Dept. charges 36 alleged scammers for $530 million cyber-fraud scheme

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday announced charges against three dozen leaders of Infraud, which prosecutors described as a global online hub for illicit sales of personal information that cost consumers and banks $530 million.

Police say they've shut down a major underground internet forum that helped cybercriminals steal over $530 million from victims.

Investigators believe the group's almost 11,000 members targeted more than 4.3 million credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts worldwide, Deputy Assistant Attorney-General David Rybicki said.

An federal indictment unsealed February 7 charged 36 people from Ukraine to Los Angeles on suspicion of large-scale acquisition and sale of stolen identities, compromised credit cards, financial information, computer malware and more.

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According to the indictment, a 34-year-old Ukrainian named Svyatoslav Bondarkeno started the site in 2010, with the goal of making it the premier destination for stolen credit card information.

The cyber crime network, operating as an online discussion forum known as "Infraud", ran a sophisticated scheme that facilitated the purchase and sale of Social Security numbers, birthdays and passwords that had been stolen from around the world, the department said.

United States authorities believe as of March 2017 there were 10,901 registered members of the Infraud Organization.

In terms of scale of money stolen and worldwide reach, the DOJ said Infraud is among the biggest in the world. The site also offered an account in which users could launder the money they stole. To ensure the quality and reliability of goods and services advertised, Infraud also maintained a member screening process and a means for members to rate others.

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Bondarenko remains at large, but the number two figure in the organization, Russian co-founder Sergey Medvedev has been arrested, according to U.S. officials.

Under the slogan "in fraud we trust", Infraud attempted to inflict £1.5 billion of losses on financial institutions, businesses and individuals over seven years, it is claimed.

"After Bondarenko went missing in 2015, [Sergey] Medvedev took his place as owner and administrator of the Infraud Organization", the indictment read.

Officials said that 13 of the defendants have already been arrested, including five Americans.

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