Dozens of criminal charges have been filed following a federal investigation into a global cybercrime ring blamed for more than $530 million in losses caused by identity theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A federal indictment unsealed Feb. 7 charged 36 people from Los Angeles to Ukraine on suspicion of large-scale acquisition and sale of stolen identities, compromised credit cards, financial information, computer malware and more.
Law enforcement agents arrested 13 suspects in the U.S. and six other nations, including Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia. Among those charged in the indictment was Jose Gamboa, 29, of Los Angeles.
Prosecutors said the alleged crime ring operated through an internet forum called Infraud. The group’s activities resulted in approximately $2.2 billion in intended losses and more than $530 million in actual losses to banks, merchants and private citizens over Infraud’s seven-year history, prosecutors said.
“Today’s indictment and arrests mark one of the largest cyberfraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan in a statement. “Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale.”
According to the indictment, Infraud was launched in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, 34, of Ukraine, who was among those charged with transnational racketeering conspiracy.
Under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust,” according to the indictment, the crime ring grew to nearly 11,000 members and became a premier destination for carding – or the buying of online goods with counterfeit or stolen credit card information. The group’s crimes included an escrow service for illicit digital currency transactions, according to the indictment.
Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.