"The sole objective of the organization is the large scale acquisition and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifying information, computer malware and other products used to unlawfully enrich members and associates of the Infraud association", Dale Eliason, U.S. Attorney of Nevada, said in a call with reporters.
The Infraud Organization, we're told, includes nearly 11,000 members, and was founded in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarkeno of Ukraine.
Law enforcement has only arrested 13 of the members so far, five of which are from the United States and only one of which (Sergei Medvedev) is considered top brass. He also banned members from buying or selling stolen devices or other items that belonged to Russian victims, according to the indictment. Infraud is the biggest online fraud group ever prosecuted by the US Justice Department.
Created in 2010, "Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale", Cronan said. "But unlike the organized crime of years past, numerous organization's almost 11,000 members have never met in person and do not know the true identities of their co-conspirators".
Super moderators on the site "oversaw and administered specific subject matter areas within their expertise", according to USA authorities.
The Infraud Organization, according to prosecutors, coordinated various flavors of internet fraud including identity theft, bank fraud, wire fraud, and related computer crimes through online forums.
The site directed potential buyers to the automated vending sites of other members who possessed stolen financial, banking, or personal identification data, malware, or other illicit goods. The group also provided members services such as laundering proceeds using digital currencies, screening sellers to ensure the quality of vendors of stolen cards, identity information, and other contraband.
Of the 36 people indicted, Justice Department officials said that 13 have been arrested in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.
"After Bondarenko went missing in 2015, [Sergey] Medvedev took his place as owner and administrator of the Infraud Organization", the indictment read. Significantly, those arrested include alleged kingpin Medvedev.