U.S. announces arrests in US$530m cyber identity fraud scheme

Message left on Infraud forum

Law enforcement has only arrested 13 of the members so far, five of which are from the USA and only one of which (Sergei Medvedev) is considered top brass.

One advert posted on Infraud's online forum in 2011 claimed to have 795,000 log-ins for British customers of HSBC, the indictment says.

An Australian man - Edgar Rojas (also known as "Guapo", "Guapo1988", and "Onlyshop" according to the indictment) - was among those arrested.

Prosecutors in the case, which was unsealed in Nevada, allege that the group was created in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, a Ukranian who sought to create "the premier destination" for purchasing retail items on the internet with counterfeit or stolen credit card information.

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.

It provided an escrow service facilitating transactions using digital currencies including Liberty Reserve, Bitcoin, Perfect Money and WebMoney.

According to the indictment, Infraud members held defined roles within the organisation's hierarchy.

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Moderators moderated one or two specific sub-forums within their areas of subject-matter expertise.

Infraud members used an online discussion forum to "discuss, meet, and conduct criminal activities", and to advertise them, the indictment said.

USA authorities describe the Infraud Organisation as an internet-based cyber criminal enterprise 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.

U.S. investigators called Infraud one of the largest cyberfraud enterprises they'd ever prosecuted.

The department of justice said he had not been arrested.

Following the indictment by a USA grand jury alleging racketeering conspiracy and other crimes, federal, state, local, and worldwide law enforcement authorities arrested 13 people from the U.S. and six other countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.

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