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19 FEBRUARY 2018
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Monday, 12 February 2018 17:27
Global card fraud network broken up
36 people charged from crime empire that planned to steal US$2.2bn

US prosecutors say they have broken up an online forum that committed frauds around the world worth more than US$530m.

Thirty-six people have been charged in the US for their alleged roles in the Infraud Organization, an internet-based ‘carding’ network that had nearly 11,000 members.

Infraud is alleged to have been 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.

The Department of Justice said in a statement that the 13 defendants who have been arrested come from the US, Australia, UK, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia. A further 23 people remain at large, from countries including Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Pakistan and Russia.

Acting assistant attorney general John Cronan of the DoJ criminal division, said Infraid members allegedly caused losses to consumers, businesses, and financial institutions, and intended to commit further frauds mounting more than US$2.2bn. 

Infraud was launched in 2010 by Ukrainian national Svyatoslav Bondarenko - aka "Obnon," "Rector" and "Helkern" - who acted as administrator of the site, although he appeared to stop using the site in 2015, according to the indictment. He is one of those still at large.

Sergey Medvedev, who has been arrested, helped co-found Infraud and also acted as a site administrator as well as provider of digital currency escrow - currency exchanging - services "for the benefit of Infraud Organization members engaging in transactions with other members, to ensure the integrity of those transactions," according to the indictment.

After Bondarenko went missing in 2015, Medvedev took his place as owner and administrator of the Infraud Organization.
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