DOJ indicts leaders of cybercrime ring that allegedly stole $530 million

Jon Howard
February 8, 2018

"Today's indictment and arrests mark one of the largest cyberfraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice", said US Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan.

The group allegedly conducted 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, according to a Justice Department announcement.

Federal prosecutors have criminally charged 36 people for their alleged roles in a massive online fraud enterprise. The Justice Department noted that other defendants remain at large and said the investigation is continuing.

"We discuss at length the structure of the organisation and the hierarchical organisation that it had in terms of administrators and vendors and other members like Okeakpu who were moderators of certain forums that were featured on the website".

Lower down were super moderators and moderators who served as subject-matter experts over specific topics or regions.

"Okeakpu was promoted to VIP member status in April 2014".

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Cronan said it was believed the group had meant to cause losses totaling more than $2.2 billion during their seven years of operation.

The group worked under the slogan "In Fraud We Trust" and was created in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian, according to the indictment.

The takedown of Infraud - dubbed Operation Shadow Web - was an global effort and the Australian Federal Police was among the law enforcement agencies thanked by the Department of Justice for their role.

"These acts include, but are not limited to: money laundering; trafficking in stolen means of identification; trafficking in, production and use of counterfeit identification; identity theft; trafficking in, production and use of unauthorized and counterfeit access devices; bank fraud; and wire fraud, as well as services associated with all of the above".

"This case reflects the alarming and increasing threat posed by cybercrime", Mr Rybicki said.

The City of London Police are credited alongside other worldwide police forces for "siginificant efforts and timely cooperation".

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