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US Busts $530 Million Cybercrime Ring

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on February 09, 2018 2:59 PM

'In Fraud We Trust' was their slogan.

What were they thinking? Apparently not that much because U.S. attorneys have filed charges against them in one of the biggest online frauds ever prosecuted by the government.

Infraud Organization, an Amazon of people selling stolen credit cards, social security numbers and other personal information, boasted 11,000 members. Well, they did before the arrests.

Global Organization

In a press release, the Justice Department described a transnational racketeering enterprise. Authorities indicted 36 defendants, and arrested 13 in the United States and six other countries.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan said the organization caused more than $530 million in actual losses to consumers, businesses and financial institutions. They intended to do "more than $2.2 billion" in damages, he said.

Infraud started online in 2010, according to prosecutors, to become the the premier destination for carding -- purchasing retail items with counterfeit or stolen credit card information. It also used an escrow service for digital currency transactions among its members.

Charges include racketeering, conspiracy and possession of devices for card counterfeiting. But the story goes deeper.

Russian Disconnection

While Russian hackers have been stealing headlines, Infraud's founder didn't want to steal from Russians. According to reports, Svyatoslav Bondarenko forbade members from buying and selling contraband to people in Russia.

"The prohibition was likely an attempt to prevent members from being detained or prosecuted by authorities in Russia," Ars Technica reported. "Russia generally doesn't have treaties in place with the US and US allies to extradite criminal suspects inside its borders."

Bondarenko, 34, of Ukraine, stopped posting to the forum in 2015 and went missing.

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