US DoJ shuts down payment card fraud ring
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has indicted 36 defendants for alleged roles in a transnational criminal organisation responsible for more than $530 million in losses from cybercrimes.
This was one of the largest cyberfraud enterprises ever prosecuted by DoJ. The gang, called the Infraud Organisation (bit of a giveaway), were engaged in the large-scale acquisition, sale, and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband.
Following the return of a nine-count superseding indictment by a Las Vegas grand jury alleging racketeering conspiracy and other crimes; federal, state, local, and international law enforcement authorities arrested 13 defendants from the US, Australia, UK, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.
Acting assistant attorney general John P. Cronan of DoJ’s Criminal Division, says: “Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale. Its members allegedly caused more than $530 million in actual losses to consumers, businesses, and financial institutions alike – and it is alleged that the losses they intended to cause amounted to more than $2.2 billion.”
According to the indictment, the Infraud Organisation was created in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko from Ukraine, to promote and grow interest in its nefarious ambitions as the premier destination for carding – i.e. purchasing retail items with counterfeit or stolen credit card information – on the internet.
They even had a slogan, “In Fraud We Trust”, and the organisation directed traffic and potential purchasers to the automated vending sites of its members, which served as online conduits to traffic in stolen means of identification, stolen financial and banking information, malware, and other illicit goods. And a lot of other nasty stuff.
The charges in the indictment are “merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law”.
Trial attorneys Kelly Pearson and Chimaobim Nwachukwu of the Criminal Division’s Organised Crime and Gang Section and assistant US attorney Chad W. McHenry of the District of Nevada are prosecuting the case.